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The Book of Common Prayer is one of the most important and influential books in English history, but it has received relatively little attention from literary scholars. This study seeks to remedy this by attending to the prayerbook's importance in England's political, intellectual, religious, and literary history. The first half of the book presents extensive analyses of the Book of Common Prayer's involvement in early modern discourses of nationalism and individualism, and argues that the liturgy sought to engage and textually reconcile these potentially competing cultural impulses. In its second half, Liturgy and Literature traces these tensions in subsequent works by four major authors - Sidney, Shakespeare, Milton, and Hobbes - and contends that they operate within the dialectical parameters laid out in the prayerbook decades earlier. Rosendale's analyses are supplemented by a brief history of the Book of Common Prayer, and by an appendix which discusses its contents.Read more
- Gives close analysis of major literary and political works, by writers including Shakespeare, Sidney and Milton, in relation to the Book of Common Prayer
- Makes more claims for the importance of the Book of Common Prayer's contribution to literary history than any other published criticism to date
- Includes an appendix discussing the contents of the Book of Common Prayer
Reviews & endorsements
"Rosendale's book will leave a strong impression on current sixteenth-century scholarship because of its interdisciplinary approach, its sound line of argument, and its depth of research...All in all, this work is highly recommended generally, but will be especially useful for religious historians, theologians, and literature scholars."
Sixteenth Century Journal, Nathan James Martin, Charleston Southern UniversitySee more reviews
"Rosendale is an astute reader and interpreter of texts, and his arguments are subtle, stimulating and provocative."
The Journal of Ecclesiastical History
"… an emotional as well as an intellectual experience."
Bibliographical Bulletin of the International Arthurian Society
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- Date Published: March 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521173988
- length: 248 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.37kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Prelude/Mattins: through 1549:
1. The Book of Common Prayer and national identity
2. The Book of Common Prayer and individual identity
Part II. Interlude:
3. Representation and authority in Renaissance literature
4. Revolution and representation
Appendix: 'THE booke'.
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