By Kent Cartwright

A spouse to Tudor Literature offers a suite of thirty-one newly commissioned essays concentrating on English literature and tradition from the reign of Henry VII in 1485 to the dying of Elizabeth I in 1603.

  • Presents scholars with a important historic and cultural context to the period
  • Discusses key texts and consultant topics, and explores matters together with overseas impacts, non secular swap, go back and forth and New global discoveries, women’s writing, technological recommendations, medievalism, print tradition, and advancements in song and in modes of seeing and reading

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A Companion to Tudor Literature

A spouse to Tudor Literature offers a suite of thirty-one newly commissioned essays concentrating on English literature and tradition from the reign of Henry VII in 1485 to the dying of Elizabeth I in 1603. offers scholars with a useful ancient and cultural context to the periodDiscusses key texts and consultant topics, and explores matters together with foreign affects, spiritual swap, go back and forth and New global discoveries, women’s writing, technological strategies, medievalism, print tradition, and advancements in tune and in modes of seeing and examining

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It is hard to believe that the English people were inveterately anticlerical, when so many Peter Marshall 17 of them were anxious to become priests: Levels of ordination were at an all-time high in the first two decades of the sixteenth century. In any case, without the help of priests, laypeople could not achieve salvation. Prereformation Catholicism was a sacramental religion. It taught that a share in the lifegiving power of God – grace – was channeled through prescribed ritual actions. Seven sacraments were recognized by the Church.

Related to wonder is an anxiety about the nature and borders of the human. Changing images of the skin bespeak Tudor concerns about human vulnerability and about a new desire to protect one’s Protestant interiority (Pollard). Various of the volume’s chapters touch upon a common fear that human nature is vulnerable to transformation and, indeed, that the borders between the human and the monstrous or barbarian or animalistic were weak and permeable. The possibility of humans transformed into witches (Edwards); the image of the reading ape (Lerer); the automaton replicants of humans who wander Fairyland (Wolfe; see also Cohen); the implicitly sub-human court Fool (Brown; see also Hornback); the anxiety that English people could return to a feral barbaric condition if exposed to the savages of the New World or to the Irish (Warren, Coles); the image of the terrible Turk (Dimmock); the headless men and monstrous beings of travel writing (Warren, Fuller); indeed, the all-too-human savagery witnessed by Jack Wilton in his “grand tour” (Mentz) – all these suggest a deep and abiding Tudor distress about the stability and borderlines of humanness.

Parish clergy provided occasional cause for discontent, but the regular visitations of the bishops reveal few scandals, or complaints of inadequate pastoral care. Common lawyers sometimes fulminated against the Church’s system of courts. But they had a vested interest in doing so, as the church courts represented, in areas such as breach of contract, a cheaper and more efficient rival. Records suggest that tithe disputes were fairly rare, and though the courts passed sentence on a stream of “fornicators” and bastard-bearers in the early sixteenth century, respectable local opinion probably approved of their doing so.

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