This book is a study of the English Reformation as a poetic and political event. It examines the political, religious and poetic writings of the period 1520-1580, in relation to the effects of confessionalization on Tudor writing. The central argument of the book is that it is a mistake to understand this literature simply on the basis of the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism. Instead one needs to see Tudor culture as fractured between emerging confessional identities, Protestant and Catholic, and marked by a conflict between those who embraced the process of confessionalization and those who rejected it. Sir Richard Morrison's A Remedy for Sedition was part of the Henrician government's propaganda response to the Pilgrimage of Grace. Edwardian politicians and intellectuals theorized and lauded the idea of counsel in both practice and theory. The book discusses three themes reflected in Gardiner's 1554 sermon: the self, the social effects of Reformation, and the Marian approaches to the interpretation of texts. The Marian Reformation produced its own cultural poetics - which continued to have an influence on Tudor literature long after 1558. The decade following the successful suppression of the Northern Rebellion in 1570 was a difficult one for the Elizabethan regime and its supporters. An overview of Elizabethan poetics and politics explains the extent to which the culture of the period was a product of the political and poetic debates of the early years of the Queen's reign.
Pilgrims, poets and politics:
the Henrician Reformation
Could we, if we knew what we did, go against King Henry VIII, of whom I will say
nothing but this: that His Grace’s fame and praise cannot fall but when all good
letters fall, which cannot be before men leave the earth and the earth men. (A
Remedy for Sedition, Sir Richard Morrison, 1536)1
ir Richard Morrison’s A Remedy for Sedition was part of the Henriciangovernment’s propaganda response to the Pilgrimage of Grace. It is a
sophisticated work with many classical and biblical references
The machinery of the Elizabethan war effort in the counties
PhD thesis, 2000).
155 John Guy, ‘Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell and the reform of Henriciangovernment’ in Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reign of Henry VIII: Politics, Policy and Piety (1995),
35–58, esp. 37, 53–7.
156 Hindle, The State and Social Change, 7–10.
157 Such an approach was, of course, employed in the North, Wales and Ireland.
England. It was evident in the early Henrician attacks
on Lollardy and was part of an early Tudor clericalist reform programme that
can be seen in the writings of men as diverse as Bishop John Alcock and
Edmund Dudley. The Henrician Reformation created a complicated situation
in which the process of confessionalization was embraced, but without any
proper confessions. Injunctions, examinations and statements of doctrinal
orthodoxy were established parts of Henriciangovernment, but the confession
they were designed to enforce was terrifyingly vague to all but the King