Subjects to Divorce: Equivocation, Infidelity and Resistance in Early Modern English Literature (Hardback)Olga Valbuena (author)
Hardback Published: 01/09/2002
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Focusing on the rhetorical aftermath and political consequences of Henry VIII's double divorce from Katherine of Aragon and from the Church of Rome, this book understands divorce as both culturally powerful and an instrument for examining division in early modern England. As Olga L. Valbuena shows, the uses of divorce include equivocation and strategies of concealment among the persecuted, mainly under the Protestant regime; internal self-division (the effect of divided loyalties); and the techniques used by Protestants who wanted to separate from Catholicism and popish idolatry.'Divorsive thinking,' precipitated by Henry's divorce and the oaths of allegiance he imposed to strengthen the monarchy, turned out instead to organise resistance to monarchical power. Milton, defender of regicide, serves as the culmination and logical if paradoxical endpoint of the process Henry VIII began in an effort to solidify his power. In working out the nuances of divorsive thinking, "Subjects to Divorce" centres on key texts by writers who were associated (probably) with Catholicism (Donne's "Pseudo-Martyr", Shakespeare's "Macbeth", and Elizabeth Cary's "Tragedy of Mariam") and by Milton, the 'hot Protestant' who wrote about divorce and linked it to regicide (here seen as analogous to divorce from an unfit spouse). It offers a fresh and important revision of our view of this 'long Renaissance,' and of the peculiar nature of the English reformation and its potentials.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 30 mm
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