Writing the Reformation : Acts and Monuments and the Jacobean History Play book cover
1st Edition

Writing the Reformation
Acts and Monuments and the Jacobean History Play

ISBN 9781138731288
Published November 7, 2019 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

This title was first published in 2002. This work invests the post-Shakespearean history plays of the Jacobean era - including among others Shakespeare's "Henry VIII" (1613), Dekker's "The Whore of Babylon" (1606), and Heywood's "If You Know Not Me, You Know Nobody" (1604-5)-with new significance by recognizing the role they played in popularizing and re-appropriating Foxe's "Book of Martyrs", one of the most formative and culturally significant Reformation texts. This study presents the historical stage as a site of a continuing Reformation debate over the nature of political authority, the validity of conscience and the challenge to social and gender hierarchies implicit in Protestant doctrine. Relating each play to contemporary political events, the book demonstrates the role of the Jacobean stage in promoting reformation and informing with providential meaning the events unfolding outside the theatre.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


List of Abbreviations


1. The ‘Marvellous Working’ of the Lord: Foxean History on Stage

2. Trial and Redemption: Authority on the Tragicomic Stage of History

3. ‘Only My Conscience’: Staging the Record of Conscience

4. Confounding the Mighty with the Weak: Staging a Popular Reformation

5. ‘Even Unto Many Godly Women’: Staging a Female Reformation

6. Foxean ‘Re-visions’ on the Jacobean Stage



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