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Oral culture in Britain 1500–1850
Editors: Adam Fox and Daniel Woolf

Human beings have developed a superabundance of ways of communicating with each other. Some, such as writing, are several millennia old. This book focuses on the relationship between speech and writing both within a single language, Welsh, and between two languages, Welsh and English. It demonstrates that the eighteenth-century Scottish clergy used the popular medium of Gaelic in oral and written form to advance the Gospel. The experience of literacy in early modern Wales was often an expression of legal and religious authority reinforced by the spoken word. This included the hearing of proclamations and other black-letter texts publicly read. Literate Protestant clergymen governed and shaped the Gaelic culture by acting as the bridge-builders between oral and literary traditions, and as arbiters of literary taste and the providers of reading material for newly literate people. The book also offers some illustrations of how anecdotes became social tools which used to make points not only in private correspondence but also in civil conversation in early modern England. Locating vagabonds and minstrels, and other wanderers on the margins of settled society depended on the survival of the appropriate historical record. Cautionary tales of the judgements God visited upon flagrant and incorrigible sinners circulated widely in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England: stories of sabbath-breakers, swearers, drunkards, adulterers and other ungodly livers struck down suddenly by the avenging arm of the Almighty. During the age of Enlightenment, intellectual culture nourished a new understanding of non-literate language and culture.

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Cautionary tales and oral tradition in early modern England

cluster of traditions no less vulnerable to the vagaries of oral transmission than those which had crystallized around medieval Catholicism. II Cautionary tales of the judgements God visited upon flagrant and incorrigible sinners circulated widely in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England: stories of sabbath-breakers, swearers, drunkards, adulterers and other ungodly livers struck down suddenly by the avenging arm of the Almighty. A few examples must suffice to convey the flavour of this perennially popular genre: the case of Anne Averies, a London artisan who

in The spoken word
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Chapter 2 we investigate the modern origins of debt as a technology of power by focusing on war, the creation of the “national” debt, and the capitalization of the organized force of the state. We trace the origins of debt as a technology of power to a confluence of events in seventeenth-century England. However, far from seeing this as a series of discrete events untainted by international interconnections, we theorize them as already embedded in a web of dynastic, geopolitical, and domestic relations of force. The purpose of founding the national debt in England

in Debt as Power
Colonialism, Jewishness and politics in Bacon’s New Atlantis

patron, in the New Atlantis the monarch was unlikely to be the target of direct criticism. Price_07_Ch7 150 14/10/02, 9:45 am Colonialism, Jewishness and politics 151 We have also noted the social, political, and cultural contradictions of early seventeenth-century England reflected in the New Atlantis. Though this text recommends travel for the increase in knowledge it will engender, it is also riven by a fear that new knowledge will have a culturally destabilising effect. Consequently, we see a scientocracy in operation that insists on sole control over the

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
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. Shapin, S. (1994). A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth Century England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Wood, G. S. (1992). Democracy and the American Revolution. In J. Dunn (ed.), Democracy: The Unfinished Journey, 508 BC to AD 1993 (pp. 95–105). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

in Science and the politics of openness

world beyond the concerns of politics and religion. This attempt to claim neutrality for natural knowledge was of course of great interest to many in post Civil War England, who wished to put a crucial part of intellectual thought potentially beyond the kind of catastrophic divisions of the 1640s and 1650s. But, in practice, an important component of the attempt at neutrality was political. As Schaffer has noted, Now, the exclusions which surrounded and defined natural philosophy in seventeenth-century England involved various elements: the construction of a purely

in The Enlightenment and religion

nature in Salomon’s House’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 43 (1982), 179–93 (p. 189). 13 Bacon, Novum Organum, in Works, I, 157 (1. 3): ‘Natura enim non nisi parendo vincitur’ (for nature is not conquered unless it is obeyed). 14 Penelope Gouk, Music, Science and Natural Magic in Seventeenth-Century England (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 32, 159; Zetterberg, ‘Echoes’, p. 190; Salomon de Caus, Les Raisons des forces mouvantes (Frankfurt, Jan Norton, 1615). 15 Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente, De brutorum loquela (Padua, Laurentius Pasquatius, 1603

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
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Behind the screen

It is often suggested that enthusiasm for the visual arts increased in England during the seventeenth century, partly as a result of the pioneering collecting activities of figures such as Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. 37 Work by Hamling and others has challenged this dominant narrative, suggesting that late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England enjoyed a lively, changing visual

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
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Reasonable tolerance

a regime of toleration reflecting the way in which the population constituting those countries belong to separate cultural and ethnic groups, which may have settled at different times in the history of that particular land: On Toleration, pp. 30–5. 5 Cf. C. Hill, ‘Toleration in seventeenth-century England: Theory and practice’, in Mendus, The Politics of Toleration, pp. 27–44. 6 Part of this story is told by Cécile Laborde’s contribution to this volume, though she mainly addresses the French debate. Michael Walzer refers to democratic MCKIN 1/10/2003 10:15 AM

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies
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The historian and the male witch

Foundations (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972), 182–183. 14 Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England (repr. London: Penguin, 1991 [Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971]), 679. Alan Macfarlane, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: A Regional and Comparative

in Male witches in early modern Europe