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Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in Seventeenth-Century English Drama


  • Date Published: August 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108416146

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the many and varied uses of apocalyptic and anti-Catholic language in seventeenth-century English drama. Adrian Streete argues that this rhetoric is not simply an expression of religious bigotry, nor is it only deployed at moments of political crisis. Rather, it is an adaptable and flexible language with national and international implications. It offers a measure of cohesion and order in a volatile century. By rethinking the relationship between theatre, theology and polemic, Streete shows how playwrights exploited these connections for a diverse range of political ends. Chapters focus on playwrights like Marston, Middleton, Massinger, Shirley, Dryden and Lee, and on a range of topics including imperialism, reason of state, commerce, prostitution, resistance, prophecy, church reform and liberty. Drawing on important recent work in religious and political history, this is a major re-interpretation of how and why religious ideas are debated in the early modern theatre.

    • Encourages a broader view of drama's engagement with religious ideology
    • Examines the close connections between early modern literary, religious, and political history
    • Chapters focus on writers such as Marston, Middleton, Massinger, Shirley, Dryden and Lee
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Its comprehensiveness is staggering: en route to close reading particular plays, Streete provides numerous examples and quotations from a variety of contemporaneous plays, poems, speeches, and sermons, making it the most crossgeneric monograph this reader has seen and enjoyed. Streete's sensitivity and command of early modern culture is unparalleled … Streete's ability to trace ripples of fear through his encyclopaedic grasp of the period's publishing history makes his argument virtually airtight.' Kyle Sebastian Vitale, The Review of English Studies

    'A finely detailed and instructive study of how political and religious discourses are reconfigured in the language, plot and personation of drama … an excellent resource that will propel further scholarly interest.' Daniel Cattell, The Seventeenth Century

    '… this is a major work of early modern scholarship and it will prove to be invaluable to anyone working in the fields of religious controversy, religio-political drama, the wider religious and political culture of seventeenth-century Britain, or Protestant Britain's relationship with its Protestant and Roman Catholic neighbours and with the cross-denominational application of apocalyptic thought.' Paul Quinn, British Catholic History

    'Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism makes a good companion piece to the same author's earlier study of Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2009). Streete has carved out a special niche for himself in this field.' R. C. Richardson, Literature & History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108416146
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Anti-Christ and the whore in early modern England – cultures of interpretation
    2. 'What news from Babylon?' Marston's The Dutch Courtesan (1605) and the Spanish peace
    3. 'Mere idolatry'? Resistance and Rome in Middleton's The Lady's Tragedy (1610)
    4. 'Occultus Rex': Caroline politics and imperial kingship in Massinger's Believe as You List (1631)
    5. 'Purple Pride' – war, episcopacy, and Shirley's The Cardinal (1641)
    6. 'Rebellion Orthodox' – arbitrary rule and liberty in Dryden and Lee's The Duke of Guise (1682)

  • Author

    Adrian Streete, University of Glasgow
    Adrian Streete is Senior Lecturer in English Literature, 1500–1780 at the University of Glasgow. He works on early modern literature and religious culture, and was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in Seventeenth-Century English Drama. He is author of Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2009), editor of Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Contexts and Readings, 1570–1625 (2012), co-editor of three other books, and author of numerous articles.

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