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    Derrin, Daniel 2017. Crackinge Thraso: The Braggart Soldier Image in Sixteenth-Century Sermons and Religious Polemic. English Studies, Vol. 98, Issue. 7, p. 704.

  • Print publication year: 2002
  • Online publication date: March 2008

1 - Religious publishing in England 1557–1640

Religious books, in conventional terms, are found to have been the single most important component of the publishing trade. In England, apart from oral communication, there was a mass of both polemical and devotional material which, if published, was published scribally, surviving only in manuscript. Some of the most active preachers of the age never appeared in print, or never in their lifetimes. A large part of the story of indoctrination concerns English Bibles, and there is no better case study of the interaction of public and private interest, commerce and edification, than the English Bible. Many of the Catholic books of the devotional writers included prefaces addressed to the impartial Christian reader, and not just to the Catholics. The use of a commonplace book was typical of university-trained readers, but Nicholas Byfield's Directions for the private reading of the Scriptures, first published in 1617 or 1618, was an attempt to make the practice more widespread among lay Bible readers.
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