Alexander’s failure to draw is illustrative of the depiction of
visual representations in many early modern English plays; the
unsuccessful process of image-making is on display at least as much as
is the image itself, which remains notably incomplete. In earlymodernEngland, ‘display’ could mean to ‘unfold’ or
‘expose to view’, but from the late sixteenth century this
term also indicated verbal revelation
distinct from the senses in which sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury English people used those terms, as well as from the senses
in which the word might be understood in the present. The situation
is further complicated by the variety of different understandings of
what defined witchcraft in earlymodernEngland. Accusations of
witchcraft tended to focus on the issue of maleficium – the harm it
caused – while theoretical writings on witchcraft were usually more
interested in the witches’ supposed pact with the devil. Magical
power might be conceived of as inherent in the
decades of intermittent
prosecution before decriminalisation, the debates that followed in the decade
or so after, and to recognise the continued enactment of popular justice
against suspected witches.1 Several collections of essays with an early modern
focus have conscientiously included contributions concerning the continued
belief in witchcraft and magic.2 Ronald Hutton, an eminent historian of earlymodernEngland has, in recent publications concerning paganism, contemporary witchcraft and shamanism, shown how skilled historians can apply
their craft and range of
Subverting stereotypes and contesting anti-Catholicism in late seventeenth-century England
and beyond it.
Peter Lake, ‘Anti-popery: the structure
of a prejudice’, in Richard Cust and Ann Hughes (eds),
Conflict in early Stuart England (New York, 1989), pp.
72–106; Anthony Milton, Catholic and reformed: the Roman
and Protestant churches in English Protestant thought,
1600–1640 (Cambridge, 1995), esp. chs
Alexandra Walsham, Providence in earlymodernEngland (Oxford, 1999), pp. 243
Antony and Cleopatra and visual musical experience
syluarum: or A naturall historie (1627), F1r.
7 William Rawley’s preface to the volume explains that, ‘true Axiomes must be drawne
from plaine Experience, and not from doubtfull; And his Lordships course is, to
make Wonders Plaine’. Bacon, A2r.
8 Bacon, F4r–v.
9 Christopher Marsh considers Bacon’s remarks in the context of earlier music theory,
in Music and Society in EarlyModernEngland (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2010), p. 40.
10 In addition to the examples considered below, see Anon., Costlie Whore, C3v;
Michael East, The fourth set of bookes
Patricia Crawford, Women in earlymodernEngland,
1550–1720 (Oxford, 2000). But, somewhat contrary to
gender norms, London’s women were actively engaged in social
life and commerce, for which see Eleanor Hubbard, City women:
money, sex, and the social order in early modern London
(Oxford, 2012); Tim Reinke-Williams, Women, work and sociability
in early modern London (New York, 2014).
Alex Gillespie, ‘Social representations,
alternative representations and semantic
. Cultural production in
earlymodernEngland is extensively shaped by the period’s
theologically informed concepts of social hierarchy. The concept of
representation is founded on the hierarchical relationship between man
and God, since creativity is divine, but representation is an imitation
of the divine; as Barbara Johnson points out, ‘human language in
no way resembles the creative word’. 97 The act of
I regret that in focusing on Clifford I
contribute to critical overemphasis on elite examples of female
patronage of the visual arts in earlymodernEngland. More research
is needed on early modern English women patrons below the level of
the elite; see Tittler, Portraits, Painters, and Publics , pp.
: Sinners and Witches in
Puritan New England (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press,
1999 ); Deborah Willis, Malevolent Nurture: Witch-Hunting and
Maternal Power in EarlyModernEngland (Ithaca and London: Cornell
University Press, 1995).
One of only a few exceptions is the excellent
article by Eva Labouvie, ‘Männer im
Gender, sexual difference and knowledge in Bacon’s New Atlantis
Philosophy of Francis Bacon (Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1966), p. 131.
2 Francis Bacon, The Masculine Birth of Time, in Farrington (ed.), The Philosophy, p. 62.
3 Ibid. p. 70.
4 Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, aphorisms I and III, in The Works of
Francis Bacon, ed. James Spedding, Robert Leslie Ellis and Douglas Denon
Heath, 14 volumes (London, Longman, 1857–74), vol. IV, p. 47.
5 For example, Mark Breitenberg, Anxious Masculinity in EarlyModernEngland (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 69–96; Carolyn
Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology