Discourses of Martyrdom in English Literature, 1563-1694
Representations of persecution and martyrdom in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England helped shape a lasting ideal of Protestant heroism. This book shows how Protestant writers tried to recreate a drama of suffering learned from the Bible and from accounts of the primitive church. It examines John Foxe's Acts and Monuments (the Book of Martyrs), second only to the Bible in importance for English Protestants of the period, revealing the subversive potential of the work by exploring how it furnished a discourse of martyrdom for those wishing to resist the authority of the church. Professor Knott also traces Milton's complex negotiations with Foxe and ideas of martyrdom, and engages with the work of the Elizabethan Separatists, William Prynne, John Bunyan, the Quaker leader George Fox, and the hymn-writer Isaac Watts. This is the first extensive treatment of the literature of persecution in Renaissance England.
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Acts and Monuments afflictions Anne Askew Antichrist apostles appears Askew authority Bale Bale's Bastwick Bible biblical bishops blood Bonner Bradford burned Burton Cambridge chapter Christ commentary condemned death discussion divine drama early Christian Eikon Basilike Elizabethan endure England English epistle Eusebius examinations experience faith Fox's Foxe's Foxe's account Foxe's martyrs George Fox godly heresy heretics heroic Hogarde holy Ibid imagined imprisonment John Bunyan John Foxe John Rogers Journal kind Latimer letters Lilburne Lollards London Lord Marian martyrs Marian persecution martyrdom metaphor Milton narrative nonconformists offers Oldcastle Oxford patience Paul Pauline Pauline epistles persecution persecutors Philpot Pilgrim's Progress play preaching primitive church prison prophets protestant martyrs Prynne punishment Puritan Quakers rage Reformation religious resistance reveals Ridley Rogers's role saints Samson Samson Agonistes Satan Scripture sense Separatist shows speaking Spirit stake Stephen Testament tradition trial true church unto victory Waldensians William William Prynne witness words worship writing