Order and Disorder

Alan Bryson

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Order and Disorder

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This article examines John Proctor's literary response to conspiracies and uprisings against the Queen, The History of Wyatt's Rebellion (1554). The book comprises a chronicle-history and two anti-sedition tracts, and is a detailed condemnation of the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger in 1554, showing how it was bound to fail and contrasting his disobedience and the disorder it creates with Mary's good government. It is part of the mid-Tudor reaction to rebellion epitomized by the flurry of obedience tracts produced during crisis years for the English polity (1536, 1549, and 1569). With its use of ‘original’ documents, Wyatt's Rebellion gestures towards the growing influence of antiquarianism on Tudor history-writing. The article also looks at Proctor's role as historian; and his use of the recent past in the service of the Counter-Reformation in his first and last books. It begins with his background and education, studying how these shaped his early development as a Counter-Reformation writer and thinker in his first polemical work, The Fall of the Late Arian (1549).

Keywords: conspiracy; uprising; rebellion; Sir Thomas Wyatt; antiquarianism; history writing

Article.  7336 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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