This chapter participates in an ongoing reassessment of the late-medieval household book that sees such manuscripts less as testaments to an aspirational mindset among their readers—that is, as part of an attempt to assume the lifestyles and prestige associated with some of the texts that they compile—than as part and parcel of the complex ethical universes constituted by individual medieval homes. Drawing on affect theory and object-relations theory, Seaman shows how the particular configuration of people, animals, and things in The Hunting of the Hare (compiled in Advocates 19.3.1), Sir Corneus, and The Debate of the Carpenter’s Tools (both compiled in Ashmole 61) generate new lessons on the spirit of empathy and tolerance as well as on the sense of shared responsibility on which the success of the household must depend. Thus, rather than offering a brief escape from the moralising and devotional works alongside which they are compiled, these comic works offer a route towards the renovation of the home and of the complex assemblage of agents that it comprises.

in Household knowledges in late-medieval England and France
Double consciousness, Black Britishness, and cultural consumption

This chapter considers how Black middle-class people use cultural consumption to contest the polarisation of Blackness and Britishness. It sketches out a brief history of this polarisation, looking at how the present replicates the past. I then analyse Black middle-class cultural consumption through the lens of double consciousness. First, I look at how those towards strategic assimilation often construe Black Britishness as two identities needing to be reconciled. Such participants therefore consume cultural forms bringing together what they see as traditional British cultural forms with traditional Black diasporic cultural forms. Those towards the ethnoracial autonomous identity mode display Black British double consciousness through the notion of a gifted ‘second sight’, therefore using cultural forms as a means to specifically critique British post-racialism.

in Black middle class Britannia

The doctrine of transubstantiation was presented formally in Canon 1 of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which was presided over by Innocent III. Transubstantiation, as explained explicitly in the canon, involved the replacement or transformation of one substance (the bread or the wine) by another (the body or the blood of Christ). This formal record of ‘orthodox’ eucharistic doctrine was the implicit target of much of Wyclif’s criticism of contemporary conceptions of material change in the host. It entailed necessarily for him that the substances of the bread and the wine had to have been annihilated, and that their accidents had therefore to exist without subjects. Many theologians had published versions of this theory, including Thomas Aquinas, but Wyclif’s metaphysical system could admit neither the possibility of annihilation nor the possibility of accidents existing without substantive subjects. He outlined his position in a late philosophical treatise, On the Externally Productive Power of God (1371/2), but its controversial potential ostensibly went unnoticed.

in John Wyclif
Abstract only

Wyclif’s views on sacramental theology are difficult to summarise collectively, but much of what he said on the topic was generally concerned with removing a particular sacrament from its ceremonial or accidental trappings, rather than questioning its necessity. The only sacrament about which he expressed some doubt is confirmation, but, even here, it would seem to be its administration at the hands of bishops that is the true target of the doubts he expresses. His beliefs about the process of sacramental change in the eucharist represent a more radical and controversial departure from orthodox teaching, but, once again, the need of this sacrament is never questioned. Because of the complexity of Wyclif’s ideas about the eucharist, and of the metaphysical principles that inform it, as well as the volume of writing dedicated to this topic, it will be covered separately in Chapter 4.

in John Wyclif

The Sea Adventure formed part of the English Parliament’s response to the Irish rebellion, and involved raising an amphibious force to challenge the Catholic rebels in areas far from the reach of the Dublin government. David Brown’s chapter reconstructs the events of the summer of 1642 as the Sea Adventurers’ fleet pillaged the south and west coasts. He reveals the importance of existing mercantile networks, especially in Munster, and the way in which ‘piratical’ colonial practices could easily be transferred to the Irish coast, with destabilising consequences, not least for loyal Catholics such as the earl of Clanricarde.

in Ireland in crisis
in John Wyclif

This chapter argues that, after leaving Cambridge, Spenser was employed in London from 1574 to 1578 by John Young, Master of Pembroke College. Previously, it has been assumed that he was employed by Young only after he became Bishop of Rochester in 1578. The only source for the assumption that Spenser was the ‘secretary’ to an Elizabethan bishop is a note written inside the book that Spenser gave Gabriel Harvey for Christmas in 1578. During Spenser’s sojourn in London, he met his future wife, became disillusioned with the Church of England, and decided against taking holy orders. A re-examination of topical satire in the ecclesiastical eclogues shows that Spenser attacked John Aylmer, Bishop of London, for selling timber on church lands to enrich his offspring. This satire in the Shepheardes Calender, later echoed in the Marprelate tracts, indicates that Spenser no longer planned to take holy orders. In an eclogue such as Maye, Spenser has been identified as a Puritan, Church of England Protestant, and even a Catholic. In the ecclesiastical eclogues, he deliberately uses a dialogic structure to conceal his religious persuasion.

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

This chapter explains that the Elizabethan grammar school education, which Spenser and Shakespeare would have received, involved learning to read Latin texts in Latin and to engage in double translation, i.e., sophisticated exercises in translating from Latin to English and back again. Brink surveys the unusually liberal education that Spenser would have received at Merchant Taylors’ School and suggests that Richard Mulcaster influenced Spenser’s decision to write in English. Mulcaster forcefully advocated educating the lower classes and even supported educating women. In this chapter, the reader is introduced to the typological reading encouraged by studying Alexander Nowell’s Catechism. The reader is shown how typological reading is likely to have influenced Spenser’s symbolism in Book I of the Faerie Queene.

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

Chapter 4 appraises both the destruction of the exterior and the ‘empty centre’ that I theorize as hallmarks of emergencies, proposing a survey of some recent theatrical texts in which these ideas have been tackled. The intention here is to illustrate some ways in which theatre, with its partialities, contingencies and failures, can offer spaces of potential identification or resistance to this process. I begin with the concept of a ‘rigged game’. This idea, which underpins Forced Entertainment’s Real Magic, Ontroerend Goed’s £¥€$ (LIES) 2 Magpies’ Last Resort and Theatre Conspiracy’s Foreign Radical, offers a way of conceptualising through performance the restrictive limits imposed by emergency protocol. Addressing each in turn, I explore the ways in which they create theatrical languages to challenge the orthodoxies latent within emergencies and, importantly, destabilize the notion that ‘there is no other choice’. My second cluster of productions are Kieran Hurley’s Heads Up, Andy Duffy’s Crash and Mark Thomas’ The Red Shed, which are shows that borrow conventions from storytelling and dramatise the imperative of retaining a sense of historical context to the present moment, and the consequences of what can happen if this relationship is overwritten.

in Precarious spectatorship
The earl of Clanricarde and the royalist cause in Connacht, 1643–46

Aoife Duignan’s chapter considers the 5th earl of Clanricarde’s ‘increasingly lonely struggle’ as (it seemed) the only Catholic royalist in the province. As a nobleman of honour, Clanricarde found the ambiguities of his situation difficult to face: although he remained faithful to the king he was constantly passed over or rebuffed by his royal master; and although he could not join his confederate friends and relatives in rebellion, he could (just) stomach cooperating with them against a bigger enemy, such as the Protestant army of Sir Charles Coote.

in Ireland in crisis