The essays in this volume relate in different ways to a central proposition: that the word-centeredness of the Tudor-Stuart Church of England had powerful and subtle effects on the literature produced during and immediately after the reigns of Elizabeth and the early Stuarts. To a degree only now being recognized, that church had at its center leaders who were both Calvinist and moderate. The literary works treated here appeared from the 1590s, in the last Elizabethan decade, to 1652, shortly after the death of Charles I. The essays represent a range of long-recognized major authors: Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, and Milton; but also the more recently canonized Aemilia Lanyer, along with Robert Southwell, a little-known William Baspoole, and a fresh, relatively new discovery in the anonymous female author of "Eliza's Babes." Every essay is interdisciplinary: most take the historical setting into account, while others relate literature to philosophy, theology, architecture, and ecclesiastical controversy. Daniel W. Doerksen is Honorary Research Professor at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. Christopher Hodgkins is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
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