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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | The Diary and Houres of the Ladye Adolie »

March 05, 2006



Fascinating post. There may be some value in considering that academics (historians/critics) typically know more than writers. A [fiction] writer's 'thing' is not a deep and searching factual knowledge, but a greater creativity, to manipulate whatever data they have. Fiction doesn't have to be factually accurate!

Re: "[e]ven ardent Protestants were converted to the view that the English Reformation was a political act first and foremost"

I'd question the effects of catholic writers on changing perceptions. It may simply be down to an increasing secularisation of historians, or a greater willingness to compartmentalise 'religious belief' as a feature of society (even by ardent believers).

Evangelical tracts and readers' perceptions are a difficult area, as they were given away freely, not purchased, and written with a highly directed intent. They have always had their own tradition, and effectively exist within something of a bubble, insulated from social mainstreams, despite their close prestructural association with popular literature (ie. chapbooks, ballads).

Whilst there may be a detectable dominant attitude in the historical or literary mainstream, at a popular level the basic fundamentals (heroes, villains, national victories) have a tendency to remain fixed. The Seven Champions of Christendom remained popular (all being Saints) through the most protestant bits of the 17thC, and Bunyan read of the exploits of St. George as a child although he referred to him in later life, rather pointedly, as 'George on horseback' (from the woodcut).

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