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  • Series: Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain x
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Print, reading and social change in early modern Ireland

Traditionally our understanding of that world has been filtered through the lenses of war, plantation and colonisation. This book explores the lives of people living in early modern Ireland through the books and printed ephemera which they bought, borrowed or stole from others. In economic terms, the technology of print was of limited significance in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Ireland, employing no more than a handful of individuals on a full-time basis. It uses the perspective of the world of print as a vantage point from which to observe the shifts in early modern Irish society. To do this it exploits two important attributes of print. First, the printed word had a material form and hence by examining how it was created, traded and owned as a commodity it is possible to chart some of the economic changes that took place in early modern Ireland as a traditional exchange economy gave way to a more commercial one. The second important attribute of print was that it had the potential to transmit ideas. The book discusses the social context of print, its social meaning, and with what contemporaries thought of the material and intellectual commodity that printing with movable type brought to Ireland. It also attempts to construct how contemporaries used the books they had bought, borrowed, stolen or heard others read aloud. The efforts of booksellers and others ensured that contemporaries had a range of books to which they could to turn for profit and pleasure according to their needs.

The career and writings of Peter Heylyn
Author: Anthony Milton

This is a full-length study of one of the most prolific and controversial polemical authors of the seventeenth century. It provides a detailed analysis of the ways in which Laudian and royalist polemical literature was created, tracing continuities and changes in a single corpus of writings from 1621 through to 1662. In the process, the author presents new perspectives on the origins and development of Laudianism and ‘Anglicanism’, and on the tensions within royalist thought. The book is neither a conventional biography nor simply a study of printed works, but instead constructs an integrated account of Peter Heylyn's career and writings in order to provide the key to understanding a profoundly polemical author. Throughout the book, Heylyn's shifting views and fortunes prompt a reassessment of the relative coherence and stability of royalism and Laudianism.

The question of succession in late Elizabethan England
Editors: Susan Doran and Paulina Kewes

Doubtful and Dangerous examines the pivotal influence of the succession question on the politics, religion and culture of the post-Armada years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Although the earlier Elizabethan succession controversy has long captured the interest of historians and literary scholars, the later period has suffered from relative obscurity. Our book remedies this situation. Taking a thematic and interdisciplinary approach, individual chapters demonstrate that key late Elizabethan texts – literary, political and polemical – cannot be understood without reference to the succession. The chapters also reveal how the issue affected court politics, lay at the heart of religious disputes (notably the Archpriest controversy), stimulated constitutional innovation, and shaped archipelagic and continental relationships. By situating the topic within its historiographical and chronological contexts, the editors offer a revised account of the whole reign, challenging many established interpretations. The book brings together scholars from the fields of literature and history working in England and the US. Most are distinguished academics, such as Patrick Collinson whose last work is published here; others are younger scholars who are already making their mark on early modern studies. Interdisciplinary in scope and spanning the crucial transition from the Tudors to the Stuarts, the book will be indispensable to scholars and students of early modern British and Irish history, literature, religion, and culture.

Seditious memories after the British civil wars
Author: Edward Legon

Parliamentarians continued to identify with the decisions to oppose and resist Crown and established church after the Restoration. By expressing these views between 1660 and 1688, these men and women were vulnerable to charges of sedition or treason. This book examines these ‘seditious memories’ and asks why people risked themselves by expressing them in public. It does so without dismissing such views as evidence of discontent or radicalism, showing instead how they countered experiences of defeat. As well as in speech and writing, these views are shown to have manifested themselves as misbehavior during official commemoration of the civil wars and Restoration. It also considers how such views were passed on from the generation of men and women who experienced civil war and revolution to their children and grandchildren.

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Oral culture in Britain 1500–1850
Editors: Adam Fox and Daniel Woolf

Human beings have developed a superabundance of ways of communicating with each other. Some, such as writing, are several millennia old. This book focuses on the relationship between speech and writing both within a single language, Welsh, and between two languages, Welsh and English. It demonstrates that the eighteenth-century Scottish clergy used the popular medium of Gaelic in oral and written form to advance the Gospel. The experience of literacy in early modern Wales was often an expression of legal and religious authority reinforced by the spoken word. This included the hearing of proclamations and other black-letter texts publicly read. Literate Protestant clergymen governed and shaped the Gaelic culture by acting as the bridge-builders between oral and literary traditions, and as arbiters of literary taste and the providers of reading material for newly literate people. The book also offers some illustrations of how anecdotes became social tools which used to make points not only in private correspondence but also in civil conversation in early modern England. Locating vagabonds and minstrels, and other wanderers on the margins of settled society depended on the survival of the appropriate historical record. Cautionary tales of the judgements God visited upon flagrant and incorrigible sinners circulated widely in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England: stories of sabbath-breakers, swearers, drunkards, adulterers and other ungodly livers struck down suddenly by the avenging arm of the Almighty. During the age of Enlightenment, intellectual culture nourished a new understanding of non-literate language and culture.

The enduring controversy about the nature of parliament informs nearly all debates about the momentous religious, political and governmental changes in early modern England – most significantly, the character of the Reformation and the causes of the Revolution. Meanwhile, scholars of ideas have emphasised the historicist turn that shaped the period’s political culture. Religious and intellectual imperatives from the sixteenth century onwards evoked a new interest in the evolution of parliament, shaping the ways that contemporaries interpreted, legitimised and contested Church, state and political hierarchies. For much of the last century, scholarship on parliament focused on its role in high politics, or adopted an administrative perspective. The major exception was J. G. A. Pocock’s brilliant The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law (1957), which argued that competing conceptions about the antiquity of England’s parliamentary constitution – particularly its common law – were a defining element of early Stuart political mentalities and set in motion a continuing debate about the role of historical thought in early seventeenth-century England. The purpose of this volume is to explore contemporary views of parliament’s history/histories over a broader canvas. Historical culture is defined widely to encompass the study of chronicles, more overtly ‘literary’ texts, antiquarian scholarship, religious polemic, political pamphlets, and of the intricate processes that forge memory and tradition. Over half of the essays explore Tudor historical thought, showing that Stuart debates about parliament cannot be divorced from their sixteenth-century prelude. The volume restates the crucial role of institutions for the study of political culture and thought.

Patriarchalism in seventeenth-century political thought
Author: Cesare Cuttica

A much-needed monograph of one of the most unpopular and criticised thinkers in the history of political thought, Cuttica’s study provides an illuminating and innovative picture of Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) and patriarchalism. Appealing to a broad audience in the humanities, this thoroughly researched work will make an essential reading for all those interested in early modern politics and ideas.

This book explores Filmer’s patriarchalist theories in connection with seventeenth-century English and European political cultures. The nine chapters address a series of important questions regarding his oeuvre that have been hitherto ignored or, at best, left unanswered. Making use of unexplored primary material and adopting an innovative contextual reading of both Patriarcha’s composition (1620s-30s) and its publication (1680), this monograph has three main strengths. Firstly, it brings new light to Patriarcha’s ideas by unveiling ignored aspects of the context in which Filmer wrote; of its language, aims and targets; of its cultural and political meanings. Secondly, the book offers a novel reading of the patriarchalist discourse and its place in early modern political culture in England and Europe. In particular, Patriarcha serves as a prism through which to see the enduring importance of the languages of patriarchalism and patriotism during the Stuart era in England. Thirdly, it gives a timely and unique explanation of why Filmer’s doctrines were amply adopted as well as strongly contested in the 1680s.

Representations and perceptions of fraudulent identities
Author: Tobias B. Hug

Impostors and impostures featured prominently in the political, social and religious life of early modern England. Who was likely to be perceived as impostor, and why? This book offers a full-scale analysis of this multifaceted phenomenon. Using approaches drawn from historical anthropology and micro-history, it investigates changes and continuities within the impostor phenomenon from 1500 to the late eighteenth century, exploring the variety of representations and perceptions of impostors, and their deeper meanings within the specific contexts of social, political, religious, institutional and cultural change. The book examines a wide range of sources, from judicial archives and other official records to chronicles, newspapers, ballads, pamphlets and autobiographical writings. Given that identity is never fixed, but involves a performative dimension, changing over time and space, it looks at the specific factors which constitute identity in a particular context, and asks why certain characteristics of an allegedly false identity were regarded as fake.

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Essays on the English nation and commonwealth in the sixteenth century

This book is a response to a demand for a history which is no less social than political, investigating what it meant to be a citizen of England living through the 1570s and 1580s. It examines the growing conviction of ‘Englishness’ in the sixteenth century, through the rapidly developing English language; the reinforcement of cultural nationalism as a result of the Protestant Reformation; the national and international situation of England at a time of acute national catastrophe; and through Queen Elizabeth I, the last of her line, who remained unmarried throughout her reign, refusing to even discuss the succession to her throne. The book explores the conviction among leading Elizabethans that they were citizens and subjects, also responsible for the safety of their commonwealth. The tensions between this conviction, born from a childhood spent in the Renaissance classics and in the subjection to the Old Testament of the English Bible, and the dynastic claims of the Tudor monarchy, are all explored at length. Studies of a number of writers who fixed the image of sixteenth-century England for some time to come; Foxe, Camden and other pioneers of the discovery of England are also included.

Jacobite Scotland and French grand strategy, 1701–8
Author: Daniel Szechi

This book is about a lost moment in British, and especially Scots, history. It explores in detail the events of 1708. The book uses this as a platform to analyse the dynamics of the Jacobite movement, the English/British government's response to the Jacobites' activities and the way the Jacobites interacted with the French government. Grand historical theses need, however, to be well grounded in the nitty-gritty of human affairs. The book offers a detailed narrative of the execution of the Enterprise of Scotland. It introduces the reader to the operation's climactic moment and at the same time corrects misapprehensions about it that have crept in to the historiography that touches on the operation proper. The book also offers a new interpretation of the role of Queen Mary of Modena as de facto regent and thus director of the movement in the early eighteenth century. It highlights the unusually prominent role played by particular Scots noblewomen, such as Anne Drummond, countess of Erroll, and Elizabeth Howard, duchess of Gordon, in the conspiracy leading to the '08. In a context set by a desperate, epic global war and the angry, febrile politics of early eighteenth-century Scotland, the book contends that Britain was on the cusp of a military and constitutional upheaval.