Introduction: The Plain Man in Characters and Court Books


in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216505
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191711947 | DOI:
Introduction: The Plain Man in Characters and Court Books

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This introductory chapter begins with a description of The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven published in 1601 by Arthur Dent, which was an instant hit and became one of the biggest sellers of the early 17th century. This popularity suggests that it has something to tell us about the nature of English. It considers the subsequent books spawned by the The Plain Man and the similarities between them. The chapter then presents an overview of the themes and analyses in the book, which asks how ordinary people saw and practised their own religion, and what they thought about those who saw and practised religion differently.

Keywords: Arthur Dent; seventeenth century; religious practice

Chapter.  6883 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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