England, Europe, and the English Revolution

Nigel Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560608
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

England, Europe, and the English Revolution

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This article argues that the strong English influence on the Continent and other parts of the world began with the English Revolution and its cultural production, which shocked the Continent with its violent outcome and its extreme political conclusions. There are earlier examples of English cultural influence, such as a 1623 German translation of Sidney's Arcadia by the German poet Martin Opitz; and figures like Thomas More or Roger Bacon whose writings enjoyed popularity within the Latin republic of letters. The close connection between Henry VIII's first divorce and the English Reformation exercised suggestive power over Roman Catholic apologists, and Spanish pious literature responded to the difficulties of being a Catholic in Reformation England. The article suggests that the natural philosophers enjoyed a bigger and earlier influence in Europe than is currently supposed; the role of Francis Bacon there is significant.

Keywords: English influence; cultural production; cultural influence; Francis Bacon; Martin Opitz; Roman Catholics; natural philosophers

Article.  7275 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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