Divinity and State by David Womersley

Divinity and State

byDavid Womersley

Hardcover | March 2, 2010

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In 1589 the Privy Council encouraged the Archbishop of Canterbury to take steps to control the theatres, which had offended authority by putting on plays which addressed 'certen matters of Divinytie and of State unfitt to be suffred'. How had questions of divinity and state become entangled? The Reformation had invested the English Crown with supremacy over the Church, and religious belief had thus been transformed into a political statement. In the plentiful chronicle literature of the sixteenth-century, questions of monarchicallegitimacy and religious orthodoxy became intertwined as a consequence of that demand for a usable national past created by the high political developments of the 1530s.Divinity and State explores the consequences of these events in the English historiography and historical drama of the sixteenth century. It is divided into four parts. In the first, the impact of reformed religion on narratives of the national past is measured and described. Part II examines howthe entanglement of the national past and reformed religion was reflected in historical drama from Bale to the early years of James I, and focuses on two paradigmatic characters: the sanctified monarch and the martyred subject. Part III considers Shakespeare's history plays in the light of thepreceding discussion, and finds that Shakespeare's career as a historical dramatist shows him eventually re-shaping the history play with great audacity. Part IV corroborates this reading of Shakespeare's later history plays by reference to the dramatic ripostes they provoked.

About The Author

David Womersley was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and is currently the Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. His publications include The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Penguin, 1994) and Gibbon and the Watchmen of the Holy City: the Historia...
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Details & Specs

Title:Divinity and StateFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pagesPublished:March 2, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199255644

ISBN - 13:9780199255641

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Table of Contents

Part I: Chronicles of Reform1. Fabyan's Chronicle: Reading and Religion Reformed2. More's Richard III: Revision and Reformation3. Cooper and Crowley: Continuation and Controversy4. Grafton and Stow: Schism and Technique5. Versions of Henry V: The Gravity of FoxePart II: Divinity and State on Stage6. Reformation and Riposte: Kynge Johan and Respublica7. Sanctified Monarchs: The Massacre at Paris, Edward III, When You See Me You Know Me, and 1 and 2 If You Know Not Me8. Martyred Subjects: Martyred Subjects: Woodstock, The Booke of Sir Thomas Moore, 1 and 2 Edward IV, and The Life and Death of the Lord CromwellPart III: Divinity, State, and Shakespeare9. Shakespearean Apocalypse : 1-3 Henry VI10. Three Experiments with the Shape of Time: Richard III, King John, and Richard II11. The History Play Reformed: 1 and 2 Henry IV, and Henry VPart IV: Conclusion12. Riposte as Corroboration: 1 and 2 Robert Earle of Hvntington and 1 Sir John Oldcastle