Representing Revolution in Milton and His Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism

Representing Revolution in Milton and His Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism

Representing Revolution in Milton and His Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism

Representing Revolution in Milton and His Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism

Synopsis

This book is a wide-ranging exploration of the interactions of literature, polemics and religious politics in the English Revolution. Loewenstein highlights the powerful spiritual beliefs and religious ideologies in the polemical struggles of Milton, Marvell and their radical Puritan contemporaries during these revolutionary decades. Loewenstein's portrait of a faction-riven, violent seventeenth-century revolutionary culture is an original and significant contribution to our understanding of these turbulent decades and their aftermath.

Excerpt

Although Gerrard Winstanley produced some of the most acute contemporary responses to the contradictions of the Revolution, other radical apocalyptic writers were no less imaginative as they struggled with the sense of crisis intensified by the convulsions of 1648–49 and the ambiguities of their aftermath. Radical religious unrest, as we saw in the last chapter, not only generated some of the most novel political and social ideas of the Revolution, but stimulated some of its most vigorous and original writing. the present chapter examines writings by two flamboyant visionaries based in London, whose powerful and distinctive prophetic responses to the Revolution's limitations and darker sides continued to challenge social, political, and religious orthodoxies in midseventeenth-century England. in their own highly dramatic ways, Abiezer Coppe and Anna Trapnel illustrate how two of the most radical apocalyptic writers in the Interregnum attempted to reinterpret, by means of startling symbolic gestures and arresting prophetic language, the processes of social and political revolution. Coppe, the notorious Ranter prophet, fiercely denounced the great ones of the earth, using his ecstatic writing, blasphemous behavior, and strange symbolic actions to alarm his contemporaries in the new Republic. Trapnel, the prominent Fifth Monarchist prophetess and poet, engaged in her own form of political protest against the retreat from revolution during the Commonwealth and Protectorate years: her ecstatic prophecies and popular millenarian visions delivered in public at Whitehall were deeply stimulated by this unsettled period and by radical religious beliefs. Her visionary trances, like those of Winstanley and the Diggers during the Republic, became the occasion to take part actively in political controversy as she responded dramatically to the crises of the new Protectorate.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.