Religion, Culture, and Society in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Honour of Patrick Collinson

Religion, Culture, and Society in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Honour of Patrick Collinson

Religion, Culture, and Society in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Honour of Patrick Collinson

Religion, Culture, and Society in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Honour of Patrick Collinson


In this volume seventeen distinguished historians of early modern Britain pay tribute to an outstanding scholar and teacher. Several present reviews of major areas of debate: of the significance of the regulations which determined the social and legal status of professional actors in Elizabethan England, of Protestant ideas about marriage, of the political significance of the Anglo-Scottish Union, of relations between the Churches of England, Scotland and Ireland under the early Stuarts, and of the riddle of the inner dynamic of the experience of emigration of New England. Case-studies in the social and religious history of the period include the relationship between ideas of cleanliness and godliness, the flowering of the notion of unitive Protestantism in two declarations on behalf of the National Church and provincial preaching at a moment of political crisis in the north of England. Three essays draw on literary evidence to explore attitudes to men of war, the use of the murder pamphlet as a Puritan conversion narrative and the service provided by scholarly readers for politically influential public figures. Two essays make impressive use of fieldwork to reveal how the churches of James I and VI's two kingdoms were furnished and how the gardens of Sir Nicholas and Sir Francis Bacon illuminate their minds and attitudes. The European dimension is represented by an essay on Nicolas Pithou's history of the Reformation in the city of Troyes. This very wide-ranging and fascinating collection of essays will appeal both to specialists in the period and to those interested in the social and cultural history of early modern Britain.


We have sought to gather together friends, colleagues and former students from a wide range of institutions in putting together this tribute to Patrick Collinson on his sixty-fifth birthday. For his academic career has been peripatetic: London, Kent, Sydney, Sheffield and Cambridge are all represented here. We have adopted a broad theme. This reflects the breadth of Patrick's interests and scholarship in the early modern period and it has enabled contributors from different areas of the field to write illuminatingly about topics within their specialist expertise. the flavour of the volume, we believe, represents an appropriate tribute to an historian whose works have enriched our understanding of the period over thirty years. Patrick's own mind has ever been on the move. His supervisor, Sir John Neale, commented at the time of the presentation of Patrick's prodigious PhD thesis on Elizabethan Puritanism in 1957: 'Collinson, I like to think of you spending the rest of your life on this subject.' in one sense he has done this but in another this is very much less than what he has done. For Patrick's later writings show his receptivity to findings from the related disciplines of anthropology, sociology and literature and his unremitting search into the social and cultural implications of religion and religious change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

It has been a great pleasure to edit this book. It is presented to Patrick Collinson in respect and affection. We honour his distinguished achievement as an historian, his dedication to the subject and his warm generosity towards all those, from undergraduate students to senior colleagues, with whom he constantly shares his learning, experience and enthusiasm.

Anthony fletcher

Peter roberts

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