Indira Ghose

Aristotle. Laughter was dynamite – it would have blown away the entire edifice of the Church. The Puritans, true heirs of mad monk Jorge, gave a further twist to the screw and did everything in their power to proscribe laughter. Alas, the book that would have changed the world was destroyed, and it would take centuries until the Enlightenment finally freed humanity – for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of

in Shakespeare and laughter
Paulina Kewes

Chapter 3 . The Puritan, the Jesuit and the Jacobean succession Paulina Kewes I n recent years, a new consensus has begun to emerge among leading early modern historians about Puritan attitudes towards the succession after the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in February 1587. Fundamental to this consensus is the claim that as soon as the Catholic Mary died on the block, godly Englishmen who hankered after further reform of the Church embraced her Protestant son James VI of Scotland as their preferred candidate for the throne. Nicholas Tyacke, for example

in Doubtful and dangerous
The politics of Lent in early modern England
Chris R. Kyle

Connecting centre and locality Chapter 2 ‘A dog, a butcher, and a puritan’: the politics of Lent in early modern England1 Chris R. Kyle I n 1538, in the midst of the reformation in England, Henry VIII, now Supreme Head of the Church, decided to intervene in the ecclesiastical calendar and provide new Lenten regulations. His intervention which relaxed some of the more stringent dietary prohibitions was not hastened by any religious change of heart but born out of a socio-economic problem­ – ­the skyrocketing price of fish during Lent and the consequent

in Connecting centre and locality
Spencer J. Weinreich

Drawing on Maggie Kilgour’s dictum that the Gothic activates a dormant past with the power to harm the present, this article explores the early modern histories invoked by the Regnum Congo, a sixteenth-century account of Africa featured in H. P. Lovecraft’s cannibal story ‘The Picture in the House’. The Regnum Congo taps into Lovecraft’s racism, instantiating, within and beyond the story, the racial and cultural convergence he dreaded. The tale’s cannibal resembles the Africans depicted in the Regnum Congo to a striking degree, even as his reverence for the book colours his putative status as a puritan. Integrating the book itself into the analysis enables a reading of the tale’s controversial cataclysmic ending as oneof several exemplars of Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock’s ‘Gothic thing-power’, which disrupts subject/object boundaries. The multifarious histories summoned by ‘Picture’ reflect Lovecraft’s own ambivalence about the past, as well as the possibilities of attention to Gothic pasts.

Gothic Studies
Religion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England

Reformation without end reinterprets the English Reformation. No one in eighteenth-century England thought that they lived during ‘the Enlightenment’. Instead, they thought that they still faced the religious, intellectual and political problems unleashed by the Reformation, which began in the sixteenth century. They faced those problems, though, in the aftermath of two bloody seventeenth-century political and religious revolutions.

This book is about the ways the eighteenth-century English debated the causes and consequences of those seventeenth-century revolutions. Those living in post-revolutionary England conceived themselves as living in the midst of the very thing which they thought had caused the revolutions: the Reformation. The reasons for and the legacy of the Reformation remained hotly debated in post-revolutionary England because the religious and political issues it had generated remained unresolved and that irresolution threatened more civil unrest. For this reason, most that got published during the eighteenth century concerned religion. This book looks closely at the careers of four of the eighteenth century’s most important polemical divines, Daniel Waterland, Conyers Middleton, Zachary Grey and William Warburton. It relies on a wide range of manuscript sources, including annotated books and unpublished drafts, to show how eighteenth-century authors crafted and pitched their works.

A cultural history
Author: Indira Ghose

This book examines laughter in the Shakespearean theatre, in the context of a cultural history of early modern laughter, and looks at various strands of the early modern discourse on laughter, ranging from medical treatises and courtesy manuals to Puritan tracts and jestbook literature. It argues that few cultural phenomena have undergone as radical a change in meaning as laughter, a paradigm shift that can be traced back to the early modern period, which saw some remarkable changes in the culture of laughter. Hitherto, laughter had been mainly regarded as a social corrective that mocked those who transgressed societal norms. The evolving cult of courtly manners that spread throughout Renaissance Europe stigmatised derisive laughter as a sign of vulgarity. Laughter became bound up with questions of taste and class identity. At the same time, humanist thinkers revalorised the status of recreation and pleasure. These developments left their trace on the early modern theatre, where laughter was retailed as a commodity in an emerging entertainment industry. William Shakespeare's plays both reflect and shape these changes, particularly in his adaptation of the Erasmian wise fool as a stage figure and in the sceptical strain of thought that is encapsulated in the laughter evoked in the plays.

The Puritan influence on American Gothic nature
Tom J. Hillard

North American history: seventeenth-century Puritan New England. While the ‘alien and threatening landscape’ that Morgan identifies was part of the European colonial experience regardless of national background, the worldview of the Puritans is particularly interesting in the context of ecocritical studies of fear and nature. When those early setlers came to Massachusetts in the early 1600s, the

in Ecogothic
Author: Alison Hulme

This book surveys ‘thrift’ through its moral, religious, ethical, political, spiritual and philosophical expressions, focusing in on key moments such as the early Puritans and postwar rationing, and key characters such as Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Henry Thoreau. The relationships between thrift and frugality, mindfulness, sustainability and alternative consumption practices are explained, and connections made between myriad conceptions of thrift and contemporary concerns for how consumer cultures impact scarce resources, wealth distribution and the Anthropocene. Ultimately, the book returns the reader to an understanding of thrift as it was originally used – to ‘thrive’ – and attempts to re-cast thrift in more collective, economically egalitarian terms, reclaiming it as a genuinely resistant practice. Students, scholars and general readers across all disciplines and interest areas will find much of interest in this book, which provides a multi-disciplinary look at a highly topical concept.

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Puritans, Quakers and Methodists
Alison Hulme

17 2 Religious thrift: Puritans, Quakers and Methodists Puritans and predestination The ‘frugality’ definition of thrift as ‘economic management, economy, sparing us or expenditures of means, frugality, saving’ is the one with which we are now most familiar. This second meaning, according to Yates and Hunter, did not emerge until around 200  years after the first. They argue that up until the fourteenth century, thrift did not exist ‘as a category of moral reflection or practical ethics’; rather, thrift in the sense of frugality emerged with the transformation

in A brief history of thrift
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This volume explores how current ideas about ecocriticism can be applied to Gothic narratives in order to help draw out their often dystopian ecological visions. The book argues that, from chilling Victorian panoramas to films such as Frankenstein or The Thing, the Arctic looms large as a blank screen on which fantasies of Gothic entrapment may be projected. It explores selected tales of Algernon Blackwood showing some ways in which Blackwood blurs the distinctions between the human world and a wider natural and spiritual ecology. The book examines the seventeenth-century New England Puritan influence on later Gothic representations of the natural world in North America. It provides an overview of recent studies on the American Gothic which highlight the notion of the wilderness as an ideological lens through which early settlers viewed the strange landscape they found themselves in. The book argues that, from its origins, women's Gothic fiction has undermined fictions of the human and the nonhuman, the natural and the unnatural by creating worlds in which the everyday is collapsed with the nightmarish. The book is the first to explore the Gothic through theories of ecocriticism. The structure of the volume broadly follows national trends, beginning with a British tradition, and moving through a Canadian context. It also follows through a specifically American model of the ecoGothic, before concluding with Deckard's discussion of a possible global context which could overcome national variations.