Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England: Tales of Discord and Dissension

Hardcover | November 18, 1999

byDavid Cressy

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In Travesties and Transgressions, David Cressy examines how the orderly, Protestant, and hierarchical society of post-Reformation England coped with the cultural challenges posed by beliefs and events outside the social norm. He uses a series of linked stories and close readings of local texts and narratives to investigate unorthodox happenings such as bestiality and monstrous births, seduction and abortion, excommunication and irregular burial, nakedness and cross-dressing. Each story, and the reaction it generated,exposes the strains and stresses of its local time and circumstances. The reigns of Elizabeth, James, and Charles I were witness to endless religious disputes, tussles for power within the aristocracy, and arguments galore about the behaviour and beliefs of common people. Questions raised by'unnatural' episodes were debated throughout society at local and national levels, and engaged the attention of the magistrates, the bishops, the crown, and the court. The resolution of such questions was not taken lightly in a world in which God and the devil still fought for people's souls.

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In Travesties and Transgressions, David Cressy examines how the orderly, Protestant, and hierarchical society of post-Reformation England coped with the cultural challenges posed by beliefs and events outside the social norm. He uses a series of linked stories and close readings of local texts and narratives to investigate unorthodox h...

David Cressy is at Ohio State University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:364 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.02 inPublished:November 18, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198207816

ISBN - 13:9780198207818

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Table of Contents

List of illustrationsIntroduction1. Agnes Bowker's Cat: Childbirth, Seduction, Bestiality and Lies2. Monstrous Births and Credible Reports: Portents, Texts and Testimonies3. Mercy Gould and the Vicar of Cuckfield: Domestic and Clerical Pleading4. Rose Arnold's Confession: Seduction, Deception and Distress in the Heart of England5. The Essex Abortionist: Depravity, Sex and Violence6. Another Midwife's Tale: Alcohol, Patriarchy and Childbirth in Early Modern London7. Cross-Dressing in the Birth Room: Gender Trouble and Cultural Boundaries8. Who Buried Mrs Horseman? Excommunication, Accommodation, and Silence9. Mocking the Clergy: Wars of Words in Parish and Pulpit10. The Atheists Sermon: Belief, Unbelief and Traditionalism in the Elizabethan North11. Baptised Beasts and Other Travesties: Affronts to Rites of Passage12. The Battle of the Altars: Turning the Tables and Breaking the Rails13. The Portraiture of Prynne's Pictures: Performances on the Public Stage14. The Downfall of Cheapside Cross: Vandalism, Ridicule and Iconoclasm15. The Adamites Exposed: Naked Radicals in the English RevolutionConclusionIndex

Editorial Reviews

`weird and wonderful stories'Nigel Jones, The Express 27/11/99