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Liturgy and Literature in the Making of Protestant England
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  • Page extent: 248 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.54 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521877749)

The Book of Common Prayer is one of the most important and influential books in English history, but it has received relatively little attention from literary scholars. This study seeks to remedy this by attending to the prayerbook's importance in England's political, intellectual, religious, and literary history. The first half of the book presents extensive analyses of the Book of Common Prayer's involvement in early modern discourses of nationalism and individualism, and argues that the liturgy sought to engage and textually reconcile these potentially competing cultural impulses. In its second half, Liturgy and Literature traces these tensions in subsequent works by four major authors - Sidney, Shakespeare, Milton, and Hobbes - and contends that they operate within the dialectical parameters laid out in the prayerbook decades earlier. Rosendale's analyses are supplemented by a brief history of the Book of Common Prayer, and by an appendix which discusses its contents.

• Gives close analysis of major literary and political works, by writers including Shakespeare, Sidney and Milton, in relation to the Book of Common Prayer • Makes more claims for the importance of the Book of Common Prayer's contribution to literary history than any other published criticism to date • Includes an appendix discussing the contents of the Book of Common Prayer


Introduction; Part I. Prelude/Mattins: through 1549: 1. The Book of Common Prayer and national identity; 2. The Book of Common Prayer and individual identity; Part II. Interlude: 1549–1662: 3. Representation and authority in Renaissance literature; 4. Revolution and representation; Postscript/Evensong: 1662–present; Appendix: 'THE booke'.


Review of the hardback: 'Timothy Rosendale's Liturgy and Literature in the Making of Protestant England is an ambitious, innovative, and rewarding study of the liturgical underpinnings of English literary and national culture in the early modern era. … produces a significant payoff … this book should have a powerful and sustained impact in the field. It offers an innovative thesis and generates new avenues of inquiry into the complex intersection of religious and literary discourses in the period.' Renaissance Quarterly

Review of the hardback: 'Among the most notable, well-written books that I read this past year, I would highlight … Liturgy and Literature in the Making of Protestant England … Timothy Rosendale … examines the crucial role that a more foundational religious text played in early modern England.' Studies in English Literature 1500–1900

Review of the hardback: 'Rosendale's Liturgy and Literature is upliftingly good reading, which can be warmly recommended to scholars working in the field.' Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies

'Rosendale is an astute reader and interpreter of texts, and his arguments are subtle, stimulating and provocative.' The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

'… an emotional as well as an intellectual experience.' Bibliographical Bulletin of the International Arthurian Society

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