By Kent Cartwright
A better half to Tudor Literature provides a suite of thirty-one newly commissioned essays concentrating on English literature and tradition from the reign of Henry VII in 1485 to the demise of Elizabeth I in 1603.
- Presents scholars with a necessary ancient and cultural context to the period
- Discusses key texts and consultant topics, and explores concerns together with overseas affects, non secular switch, go back and forth and New global discoveries, women’s writing, technological options, medievalism, print tradition, and advancements in song and in modes of seeing and reading
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Additional resources for A Companion to Tudor Literature
When the priest held up the consecrated bread at the solemn moment known as the elevation, members of the congregation could, literally, see and adore their God. At the same time, each Mass was a sacrifice to God on behalf of the people, a re-enactment of the saving sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. The Mass was a means of spiritual benefit for the dead as well as the living. Despite tenuous scriptural foundations, the doctrine of purgatory had emerged strongly over the course of the Middle Ages to meet the common-sense perception that the majority of people were insufficiently saintly to expect immediate admission to heaven, and insufficiently wicked to deserve eternal damnation in hell.
Likewise, books of instruction in Italian language and grammar appeared (Benson). English also had a deep but complex relationship to Latin, which was still the language of education and of law but was also associated with Papistry; by mid-century the case was being made for English as a literary language (Hornback). Here as elsewhere, England shows a layering of linguistic knowledge, while the Tudor effort to affirm English gives evidence of its permeability by other languages. Porous borders, layerings of old and new, emigrating values, religious upheavals, new voices, travels and discoveries, technological changes, and the rise of one of the greatest literary cultures in Western history: The Tudor age has much to teach us about how culture changes, appropriates, and persists, and about how it imagines and contemplates itself.
Lollardy originated with the disciples of John Wyclif, a late fourteenth-century Oxford theologian, whose teachings took from the Church any claim to property or temporal power. In place of established hierarchical structures, he posited an invisible true Church of the elect, and placed all religious authority in the text of Scripture, which his followers duly translated into the vernacular. For good measure, he denounced transubstantiation, the cult of the saints, images and pilgrimage. As Wyclif ’s teachings spread outside Oxford at the turn of the fifteenth century, the authorities responded with vigorous persecution.
A Companion to Tudor Literature by Kent Cartwright
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