James Simpson tells us more than once in Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and Its Reformation Opponents (Harvard, 2007) that the purpose of his study, beyond being an account of Reformation hermeneutics, is to argue that "[t]he liberal tradition would understand the punishing demands of literalism better if it stopped tracing its own ancestry to the moment that produced its most vigorous opponent" (282). According to Simpson, the liberal tradition makes the mistake of grounding itself in the "sixteenth-century Lutheran moment" (3), identifying sola scriptura and the purported attendant "freedom" of the reader as the self-evidently right-minded riposte to Catholic hermeneutics--especially as articulated by St. Thomas More. Simpson's account pits William Tyndale against More, the latter of whom Simpson turns into the forefather of contemporary "'pragmatism'" (223). Nevertheless, Simpson also tries to argue that More's treatment of heretics was a kind of interpretive illness, "a textual virus of distrustful literalism," that More "contracted" in the course of arguing against his opponents (261).* Ergo: More vs. Tyndale also becomes More vs. More vs. Tyndale. In other words, Simpson claims that sola scriptura is not necessarily the liberating force that some assume it to be, a point which has cropped up elsewhere (e.g., in Diarmaid MacCulloch). Underlying this critique of the liberal tradition is a critique of what I suppose you could call the "myth of sola scriptura" in Reformation historiography; in practice, this turns out to be an attempted take-down of Tyndale specialist David Daniell, whom Simpson chivvys up one page (or endnote) and down the other. (My own bemused response to Daniell's Tyndale biography is here.) While Daniell is not Simpson's only target, Simpson's frequent Daniell-whacking does make it difficult to tell how far the scholarly trend in question extends beyond him.
As a non-specialist, I've certainly got some questions about the book--for example, there are far better theological explanations for More's behavior than hermeneutics per se, and Simpson's arguments about the "modern" (3) nature of fundamentalism have been seen elsewhere--but Simpson does provide some interesting frameworks for thinking about my Victorian novelists and their own understanding of Biblical hermeneutics. It goes without saying that the evangelicals are all very invested in sola scriptura, while the Catholics and the High Church Anglicans are very not so invested (in fact, Catholic historical novelists quite pointedly substitute scenes of communal worship for scenes of Biblical reading, often enough). However, the evangelicals have a range of attitudes to how sola scriptura works in practice, ranging, at one extreme, from the Presto! theory (Jew or Catholic reads the N.T. without any other instruction and instantly becomes the author's desired variety of Protestant) to, at the other, the Wow, This Takes Work theory (reading takes place over months or years within a larger Christian community that delimits interpretive possibilities). One of the things that interests me about all of this is that historical novels about the Reformation are, in effect, explaining to the reader how it is possible for them to read...a historical novel about the Reformation. Because these novels don't just represent people reading, translating, explicating, reproducing, and transporting Bibles; they also rely heavily on the reader's prior acquaintance with the Bible (e.g., the ability to catch allusions, recognize unsourced direct quotations, note parallels between novelistic narratives and various Biblical stories, etc.).
*--I think this disease metaphor overplays the point one might make about any argument--namely, that it's often impossible to avoid adopting your opponent's own categories, tactics, turf, etc. That's the price of engaging with another position, really.