Democratizing Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici and Its Imitations

By Daniela Havenstein | Go to book overview

2
Religio Medici and the Restoration
Virtuoso

His record is stained with innocent blood . . .1 a man that has the blood of the saints at his fingers' end?2

Uncritical historiography has tarnished the reputation of both Browne and Mackenzie. Conolly Norman takes exception to the erection of Browne's statue on Hay Hill in Norwich because of his role in the witch trial of Rose Cullender and Amy Drury at Bury St Edmunds ( 1664). Agnes Taylor Innes documents the portrayal of Mackenzie as the persecutor of Scotland's 'defenceless saints', the Covenanters. The impartial reader may therefore be surprised to discover that both men wrote books which have been praised for their advanced views on religious toleration: Religio Medici and Religio Stoici. Yet, although Religio Stoici has been linked to Religio Medici, their relationship has never been scrutinized.3

____________________
1
Connolly Norman, "'Sir Thomas Browne: Audi Alteram Partem,'" British Medical Journal 2 ( 27 August 1904): 474. Browne's role has traditionally been exaggerated.
2
Cited in Agnes Taylor Innes, Studies in Scottish History, Chiefly Ecclesiastical ( London, 1892), 63.
3
Keynes draws attention to Religio Stoici in his Bibliography, 237 but does not provide any further comments. For references linking Religio Medici and Religio Stoici cf. W. A. Raleigh , 'Sir George Mackenzie', in Henry Craik (ed.), English Prose Selections, iii. Seventeenth Century ( London, 1894), 261; A. Lang, Sir George Mackenzie, King's Advocate, of Rosehaugh, His Life and Times 1636 (?)-1691 ( London, 1909), 313; F. S. Ferguson , A Bibliography of the Works of Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Advocate, Founder of the Advocates' Library, i. 1935-1938, Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions ( Edinburgh, 1938), 12; Ronald D. S. Jack, Scottish Prose, 1550-1700 ( London, 1971), 39; I. B. Cowan, The Scottish Covenanters, 1660-1688 ( London, 1976), 158; Michael R. G. Spiller , 'The First Scots Novel: Sir George Mackenzie's Aretina (1660)', Scottish Literary Journal: A Review of Studies in Scottish Language and Literature, Suppl. 11 ( 1979): 1; David Reid, The Party-Coloured Mind: Prose Relating to the Conflict of Church and State in Seventeenth-Century Scotland ( Edinburgh, 1982), 7; Trevor Royle, The Mainstream Companion to Scottish Literature ( Edinburgh, 1993), 204; Hugh Ouston, 'Cultural Life from the Restoration to the Union', in A. Hook (ed.), The History of Scottish Literature, ii. 1660-1800 ( Aberdeen, 1989), 20. For brief references to Mackenzie cf. the four entries in W. R. Aitken Scottish Literature in English and Scots: A Guide to Information Sources,

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Democratizing Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici and Its Imitations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • OXFORD ENGLISH MONOGRAPHS i
  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Tables x
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Preamble 1
  • Religio Writing in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries 5
  • 2 - Religio Medici and the Restoration Virtuoso 27
  • 3 - Religio Medici and Grubstreet 45
  • 4 - Religio Medici and Newgate 71
  • 5 - The Resurrection of Morris W. Croll 88
  • 6 - Anatomizing Croll and Religio Medici 104
  • 7 - Anatomizing Religio Medici's Imitations 129
  • 8 - Searching for the Limbs of Osiris 149
  • 'suicide' and Other Words in Religio Medici and Its Imitations 173
  • Conclusion 198
  • Appendix: Tables of Word-Classes 205
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 227
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