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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

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.

Loyalty, memory and public opinion in England, 1658-1727 makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate over the emergence of an early modern ‘public sphere’. Focusing on the petition-like form of the loyal address, it argues that these texts helped to foster a politically-aware public through mapping shifts in the national ‘mood’. Covering addressing campaigns from the late Cromwellian to the early Georgian period, it explores the production, presentation, subscription and publication of these texts. Through an in-depth examination of the social background of subscribers and the geography of subscription, it argues that addressing activity provided opportunities to develop political coalitions. By exploring the ritual of drafting and presenting an address, it demonstrates how this form was used strategically by both addressers and government. Both the act of subscribing and the act of presenting an address imprinted this activity in both local and national public memory. The memory of addressing activity in turn shaped the understanding of public loyalty. The volume employs corpus analysis techniques to demonstrate how the meaning of loyalty was transformed over the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries. The shifts in public loyalty, however, did not, as some contemporaries such as Daniel Defoe claimed, make these professions of fidelity meaningless. Instead, Loyalty, memory and public opinion argues for that beneath partisan attacks on addressing lay a broad consensus about the validity of this political practice. Ultimately, loyal addresses acknowledged the existence of a broad ‘political public’ but did so in a way which fundamentally conceded the legitimacy of the social and political hierarchy