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The Power of Polemic: Catholic Responses to the Calendar in Foxe's ?Book of Martyrs?

Freeman, TS (2010) 'The Power of Polemic: Catholic Responses to the Calendar in Foxe's ?Book of Martyrs?' The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 61 (03). 475 - 495. ISSN 0022-0469

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Although scholars have come increasingly to recognise the considerable influence of early modern Catholic writers upon the historiography of the English Reformation, a crucial aspect of this influence has received scant attention : the impact of Catholic polemical writings upon perceptions of the Reformation. This article will examine a particularly striking and important example of the effects of Catholic polemic, the attacks on the calendar of martyrs included in editions of John Foxe?s Acts and monuments. It will describe how these attacks merged with traditions of anti-Puritanism to create a stereotype of the Marian martyrs as being poor, from the lowest social classes, uneducated and disrespectful of authority to the point of rebellion. These attacks also laid the foundation for the myth, still prevalent today, that many of the Marian martyrs were guilty of Trinitarian or sacramentarian heresies which would have led to their condemnation as heretics even under a Protestant regime.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2013 16:41
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2018 12:15

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