Reforming the Reformers

Christopher Warley

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199205882
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Reforming the Reformers

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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Mid-Tudor literature has been typically neglected in large part because it seems to speak with such an impenetrable accent, seems incapable of understanding the grand historical shifts it sits inside, and seems like a momentary amusement that quickly grows tedious the longer one has to keep sorting out what it is saying. Stuck in the middle of the transition from feudalism to capitalism, from medieval to Renaissance, from Catholic to Protestant, from community to individualism, the literature of the period is unable, by and large, adequately to name the sources that shaped it. Udall's Respublica (1553) and Robert Crowley's Philargyrie (1551) are two of the more notable literary texts in mid-century England. This article presents a close-read of these two works to get a grip on some of the elusive and odd social transformations that mark mid-Tudor existence, and in particular the vexing question of social relations.

Keywords: mid-Tudor literature; Respublica; Philargyrie; social transformation; social relations

Article.  6982 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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