The Catholic contribution to English literary culture has been widely neglected or misunderstood. This book sets out to rehabilitate a wide range of Catholic imaginative writing, while exposing the role of anti-Catholicism as an imaginative stimulus to mainstream writers in Tudor and Stuart England. It discusses canonical figures such as Sidney, Spenser, Webster and Middleton alongside many lesser-known writers. Alison Shell explores the Catholic rhetoric of loyalism and apostasy, and the stimulus given to the Catholic literary imagination by the persecution and exile so many of these writers suffered.
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