Reformation Fictions: Polemical Protestant Dialogues in Elizabethan England

Hardcover | July 23, 2011

byAntoinina Bevan Zlatar

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Reformation Fictions rehabilitates some twenty polemical dialogues published in Elizabethan England, for the first time giving them a literary, historicist and, to a lesser extent, theological reading. By juxtaposing these Elizabethan publications with key Lutheran and Calvinist dialogues,theological tracts, catechisms, sermons, and dramatic interludes, Antoinina Bevan Zlatar explores how individual dialogists exploit the fictionality of their chosen genre. Writers like John Veron, Anthony Gilby, George Gifford, John Nicholls, Job Throckmorton, and Arthur Dent, to name the most prolific, not only understood the dialogue's didactic advantages over other genres, they also valued it as a strategic defence against the censor. They were convinced, asErasmus had been before them, that a cast of lively characters presented antithetically, often with a liberal dose of Lucianic humour, worked wonders with carnal readers. Here was an exemplary way to make doctrine entertaining and memorable, here was the honey to make the medicine go down. They knewtoo that these dialogues, particularly their use of manifestly imaginary interlocutors and a plot of conversion, licensed the delivery of singularly radical messages. What comes to light is a body of literature, often scurrilous, always serious, that gives us access to early modern concepts of fiction, rhetoric, and satire. It showcases the imagery of Protestant polemic against Catholicism, and puritan invective against the established Elizabethan Church, all thewhile triggering the frisson that comes from the illusion of eavesdropping on early modern conversations.

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Reformation Fictions rehabilitates some twenty polemical dialogues published in Elizabethan England, for the first time giving them a literary, historicist and, to a lesser extent, theological reading. By juxtaposing these Elizabethan publications with key Lutheran and Calvinist dialogues,theological tracts, catechisms, sermons, and dr...

Antoinina Bevan Zlatar read English at Lincoln College, Oxford, before completing a doctorate in English literature and Reformation history at the University of Geneva.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.76 inPublished:July 23, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019960469X

ISBN - 13:9780199604692

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Table of Contents

I. IntroductionII. Dialogues profitable, delightsome and bold1. De utilitate colloquiorum2. The authors, their creations, and the nature of fictionIII. Tudor Precursors1. Henrician priests and insubordinate servants2. The Edwardian Whore of Babylon3. Marian wolvesIV. 'Englishing' Pierre Viret: the Case of John Veron1. Pierre Viret's Disputations chrestiennes2. 'Englishing' Pierre Viret or The Huntynge of Purgatorye to Death3. Veron's rhetoric of refutationV. Fear of Popery1. French butchers and Spanish galleons2. The Campion affair: John Nicholls and George Gifford3. Francis Savage and recusant wivesVI. Puritans against the Bishops1. Archbishop Parker's comely, one-eyed chaplain2. Bitter laughter: John Udall, Job Throckmorton and Martin MarprelateVII. Fear of Atheism1. George Gifford's country parishioner2. I. B.'s country parsonVIII. Applying oneself to the capacity of the unlearnedA Glossary of Rhetorical TermsBibliographyIndex