People and piety

Protestant devotional identities in early modern England

Edited by Elizabeth Clarke and Robert W. Daniel

People and piety
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  • ISBN: 9781526150127
  • Publish Date: Sep 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • ISBN: 9781526182609
  • Publish Date: Jan 2025
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5012-7
    • Pages: 320
    • Price: £85.00
    • Published Date: September 2020
    • Series: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies


    This international and interdisciplinary volume investigates Protestant devotional identities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Divided into two sections, the book examines the 'sites' where these identities were forged - the academy, printing house, household, theatre and prison - and the 'types' of texts that expressed them - spiritual autobiographies, religious poetry and writings tied to the ars moriendi - providing a broad analysis of social, material and literary forms of devotion during England's Long Reformation. Through archival and cutting-edge research, a detailed picture of 'lived religion' emerges, which re-evaluates the pietistic acts and attitudes of well-known and recently discovered figures. To those studying and teaching religion and identity in early modern England, and anyone interested in the history of religious self-expression, these chapters offer a rich and rewarding read.


    'Situating itself broadly within the well-established field of "self fashioning" studies, but more particularly within the more recent "devotional turn" in historiography, this is a well-chosen, carefully structured... effective and handsomely produced volume... well-thought-out and stimulating... Much new research is to be found here.' Literature & History, R. C. Richardson

    '...all of the fine essays in this volume reflect the considerable time given by the contributors to the "otherness" of their subjects and, as a result, offer the reader fascinating insights into the variety of devotional identities in early modern England.'
    Baptist Quarterly, Karen E. Smith

    ''This fine new volume... is predicated on the principle that it is through the detailed study of particular lives that we can come closest to appreciating early modern religion and religious writing. The result is a fascinating collection of new essays... I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone interested in the history, literature or religion of early modern England, and especially in the meeting of these elements in the endlessly fascinating devotional lives of its people.'
    Bunyan Studies, Helen Wilcox

    'This collection of fourteen essays provides a wealth of examples of the ways that devotional identities were formed and understood in early modern England... Whether a reader approaches the collection as a whole or dips into it according to her interests, she is sure to emerge with a deeper understanding of popular piety in early modern England.'
    Milton Quarterly, Brook Conti

    'In their important edited collection... Elizabeth Clarke and Robert W. Daniel succeed in their intention of demonstrating that "piety did not define people" in early modern England, for "it was people who defined their piety". Responding to the recent devotional turn, and in particular, renewed calls to consider individuals' lived religious practice, Clarke and Daniel bring together wide-ranging and interdisciplinary chapters that survey the breadth and vitality of Protestant devotional identities... This volume serves as a snapshot of the state of a flourishing field, a comprehensive and enlightening overview of the construction of devotional identities, and deserves to be widely consulted as a key survey of English Protestantism.'
    Journal of British Studies, Emily Vine


    Foreword - John Coffey
    Introduction - Elizabeth Clarke and Robert W. Daniel

    Part I: Devotional identities in religious communities
    1 What was devotional writing? Re-visiting the community at Little Gidding, 1626-33 - David Manning
    2 'HERSCHEPT HET HERT': Katherine Sutton's Experiences (1663), the printer's device and the making of devotion - Michael Durrant

    Part II: Devotional identities in the household
    3 'A soul preaching to itself': sermon note-taking and family piety - Ann Hughes
    4 The Act of Toleration, household worship and voicing dissent: Oliver Heywood's A Family Altar (1693) - William J. Sheils

    Part III: Devotional identities in the theatre
    5 Devotional identity and the mother's legacy in A Warning for Fair Women (1599) - Iman Sheeha
    6 Devotion, marriage, and mirth in The Puritan Widow (1607) - Robert O. Yates

    Part IV: Devotional identities in the prison
    7 'O this dark dungeon!': murderers, martyrs and the 'sacred space' of the early modern prison - Lynn Robson
    8 Editing devotional identity: the compilation and reception of the prison prose of George Fox's Journal (1694) - Catie Gill

    Part V: Devotional identities in spiritual autobiographies
    9 Fathers and sons, conscience and duty in early modern England - Bernard Capp
    10 Dissenting devotion and identity in The Experience of Mary Franklin (d. 1711) - Vera J. Camden

    Part VI: Devotional identities in religious poetry
    11 Loyalist and dissenting responses to George Herbert's The Temple (1633) in the devotional writing of the 1640s-50s - Jenna Townend
    12 'Whom I never knew to Poetrize but now': grief and passion in the devotional poetry of Richard Baxter - Sylvia Brown

    Part VII: Devotional identities in the ars moriendi
    13 'My sick-bed covenants': scriptural patterns and model piety in the early modern sickchamber - Robert W. Daniel
    14 'Now the Lord hath made me a spectacle': deathbed narratives and devotional identities in the early seventeenth century - Charles Green

    Afterword - N. H. Keeble


    Elizabeth Clarke is Professor Emeritus in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick
    Robert W. Daniel is Associate Tutor in English at the University of Warwick.

    People and piety

    Edited by Elizabeth Clarke, Robert W. Daniel

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

    Paperback £25.00 / $36.95

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