Anne Sweeney
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The ‘performing Word’
Southwell’s sacralised poetic
in Robert Southwell
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This chapter discusses Southwell's final works, and his contributions to England and English poetry. Some of these were the visions of the Counter-Reformation and the sacralisation of individual vision and creativity. The chapter then introduces a new concept of grace and the ‘Performing Deed’, which is an act that expresses a giving up of self in response to downward-moving grace. It also discusses Southwell's poetic vision and his status as an authority of priest and martyr, concluding with a study of his first and last public sermon, which was delivered shortly before his execution at Tyburn.

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Robert Southwell

Snow in Arcadia: redrawing the English lyric landscape, 1586–95


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