Spanning the different phases of the English Reformation from William Tyndale's 1525 translation of the Bible to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, John King's magisterial anthology brings together a range of texts inaccessible in standard collections of early modern works. The readings demonstrate how Reformation ideas and concerns pervade well-known writings by Spenser, Shakespeare, Sidney, and Marlowe and help foreground such issues as the relationship between church and state, the status of women, and resistance to unjust authority. Plays, dialogues, and satires in which clever laypersons outwit ignorant clerics counterbalance texts documenting the controversy over the permissibility of theatrical performance. Moving biographical and autobiographical narratives from John Foxe's Book of Martyrs and other sources document the experience of Protestants such as Anne Askew and Hugh Latimer, both burned at the stake, of recusants, Jesuit missionaries, and many others.
In this splendid collection, the voices ring forth from a unique moment when the course of British history was altered by the fate and religious convictions of the five queens: Catherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth I.
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press