The death of Edmund Campion in 1581 marked a disjunction between the world of printed untruth and private, handwritten, truth in early modern England. Gerard Kilroy traces the circulation of manuscripts connected with Campion to reveal a fascinating network that not only stretched from the Court to Warwickshire and East Anglia but also crossed the confessional boundaries. Kilroy shows that in this intricate web Sir John Harington was a key figure, using his disguise as a wit to conceal a lifelong dedication to Campion's memory. Sir Thomas Tresham is shown as expressing his devotion to Campion both in his coded buildings and in a previously unpublished manuscript, Bodleian MS Eng. th. b. 1-2, whose theological and cultural riches are here fully explored. This book provides startling new views about Campion's literary, historical and cultural impact in early modern England. The great strength of this study is its exploitation of archival manuscript sources, offering the first printed text and translation of Campion's Virgilian epic, a fully collated text of 'Why doe I use my paper, ynke and pen', and Harington's four decades of theological epigrams, printed for the first time in the order he so carefully designed. Edmund Campion: Memory and Transcription lays the foundations of the first full literary assessment of Campion the scholar, the impact he had on the literature of early modern England, and the long legacy in manuscript writing.
'Gerard Kilroy’s Edmund Campion: Memory and Transcription is a doubly valuable book. It provides, for the first time, transcriptions of fascinating literary traces of the persecuted Elizabethan Catholic community, and, equally important, it provides a richly nuanced and sympathetic account of these traces. Kilroy illuminates the desperate will to bear witness that brought these works, against all odds, into being and enabled them to survive.' Professor Stephen Greenblatt, Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University and author of Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare 'In this wonderful and moving book, deploying the most sensitive and exact scholarship, Gerard Kilroy has uncovered the hidden world behind the public face of the Age of Gloriana. Drawing on intimate evidence from hitherto unexamined manuscripts he suggests the myriad acts of resistance that were the real response on the ground to the Protestant settlement in Elizabeth's reign. Far wider than its title suggests, Edmund Campion: Memory and Transcription opens up vistas of the central cultural battle of 16th century England, and will be of great value to all interested in the history, literature and culture of the Elizabethan Age.' Michael Wood, author of 'In Search of Shakespeare' (Maya Vision International for BBC/PBS, 2002) '… there is so much that is fascinating in this book…' The Spectator 'This serious contribution on Edmund Campion is destined to be the foundational study on Campion and the plight of 16th-century English Catholicism. Textual analysis, bibliography and index complete this masterful contribution. Recommended for scholars and theological library collections.' Catholic Library World 'What a treasure this book is! It brought me great joy, not just for myself, but for reviving my belief that such a book is still possible in these times - a book of impeccable scholarship, written with an elegant style that is easy to read and finely ill
Contents: Introduction: Between the lines. Part I The Heart in Hiding: Darkness within: letters from prison; Edmund Campion: 'sweetly in verse'; 'Paper, ynke and pen': a literary memoria; Sir John Harington: 'wise pretender of foolery'; Within these walls: the interior life of Sir Thomas Tresham. Part II Transcriptions: Transcription I: Edmund Campion's Virgilian Epic; Transcription II: 'Why doe I use my paper, ynke and pen'; Transcription III: Four decades: 'All my ydle epigrams'. Bibliography; Index.