People and piety

Protestant devotional identities in early modern England

Edited by Elizabeth Clarke and Robert W. Daniel

People and piety


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5012-7
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: September 2020
  • BIC Category: Religion, Humanities / Religion & beliefs, Early Modern Literature, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Literature: history & criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literature, Early Modern History, History, RELIGION / Christianity / History, LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Religion, England, Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
  • 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


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

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout