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The image of the puritan as a dour and repressive character has been central to ways of reading sixteenth- and seventeenth-century history and literature. Kristen Poole's original study challenges this perception arguing that radical reformers were most often portrayed in literature of the period as deviant, licentious and transgressive. Through extensive analysis of early modern pamphlets, sermons, poetry and plays, the fictional puritan emerges as a grotesque and carnivalesque figure. By recovering this lost satirical image, Poole sheds new light on the social role played by anti-puritan rhetoric.Read more
- Only recent study of literature and religious nonconformity in this period
- Innovative argument; reconceptualizes image of the puritan
- Bridges literary studies and religious history
Reviews & endorsements
"This fascinating and well-researched boook is an important contribution to a sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century literary tradition... only praise for her general clarity of style and for the accompanying apparatus of useful notes, bibliography, and extraordinarly detailed index." Sixteenth Century JournalSee more reviews
"Poole's eye-opening book challenges traditional definitions of Puritanism and contends that radical 16th- and 17th-century reformers were most often represented as drunken, gluttonous, and licentious in literature...she points out areting parallels between movements and literary representations of figures of nonconformity." Choice
"Despite these reservations, Poole's argument about Falstaff is an intriguing one, as are all her arguments in this well-researched study. Poole's book should prove valuable to any reader to any reader interested in religious and early modern literature." Albion
"Poole masterfully uncovers and links together a group of lively and diverse materials that treat puritans as grotesque and aberant.... Radical Religion fills a significant and long-standing gap in the history of represntation, as previous booklength treatments of satiric images of puritans date back to the 1940s....Kristen Poole makes a major contribution to discussions of religion, literature, and culture in the early modern period. This groundbreaking book should be of considerable value and interest to literary scholars and historians alike." Journal of English and Germanic Philology
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- Date Published: March 2006
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521025447
- length: 288 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 152 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.441kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: deforming Reformation
1. The Puritan in the alehouse: Falstaff and the drama of Martin Marprelate
2. Eating disorder: feasting, fasting, and the Puritan bellygod at Bartholemew Fair
3. Lewd conversations: the perversions of the Family of Love
4. Dissecting sectarianism: swarms, form, and Thomas Edwards's Gangrœna
5. The descent of dissent: monstrous genealogies and Milton's antiprelatical tracts
6. Not so much as fig leaves: Adamites, naked Quakers, linguistic perfections and Paradise Lost
Epilogue: the fortunes of Hudibras
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