By Christopher Highley
Glossy students, fixated at the "winners" in England's 16th- and seventeenth-century non secular struggles, have too easily assumed the inevitability of Protestantism's old triumph and feature uncritically approved the reformers' personal rhetorical building of themselves as embodiments of an actual Englishness. Christopher Highley interrogates this narrative via studying how Catholics from the reign of Mary Tudor to the early 17th century contested and formed discourses of nationwide id, patriotism, and Englishness. Accused by way of their competitors of espousing an alien faith, one orchestrated from Rome and sustained by means of Spain, English Catholics fought again through constructing their very own self-representations that emphasised how the Catholic religion used to be an historic and critical a part of actual Englishness. After the accession of the Protestant Elizabeth, the Catholic imagining of britain was once often the undertaking of the exiles who had left their fatherland looking for non secular toleration and overseas counsel.
English Catholics developed narratives in their personal spiritual history and id, in spite of the fact that, not just in line with Protestant polemic but in addition as a part of intra-Catholic rivalries that pitted Marian clergy opposed to seminary clergymen, secular monks opposed to Jesuits, and exiled English Catholics opposed to their co-religionists from different components of england and eire. Drawing at the reassessments of English Catholicism via John Bossy, Christopher Haigh, Alexandra Walsham, Michael Questier and others, Catholics Writing the Nation foregrounds the faultlines inside and among some of the Catholic groups of the Atlantic archipelago.
Eschewing any confessional bias, Highley's ebook is an interdisciplinary cultural examine of a huge yet ignored measurement of Early sleek English Catholicism. In charting the advanced Catholic engagement with questions of cultural and nationwide identification, he discusses various genres, texts, and files either in print and manuscript, together with ecclesiastical histories, polemical treatises, antiquarian tracts, and correspondence. His argument weaves jointly a wealthy historic narrative of individuals, occasions, and texts whereas additionally delivering contextualized shut readings of particular works via figures reminiscent of Edmund Campion, Robert people, Thomas Stapleton, and Richard Verstegan.