Prophecy, Politics and the People in Early Modern England
The influence of the non-Biblical vernacular prophetic traditions in early modern England was considerable; they had both a mass appeal, and a specific relevance to the conduct of politics by elites. Focussing particularly on Mother Shipton, the Cheshire prophet Nixon, and Merlin, this book considers the origins of these prophetic traditions, their growth and means of transmission, and the way various groups in society responded to them and in turn tried to control them. Dr Thornton also sheds light on areas where popular culture and politics were uneasily interlinked: the powerful political influence of those outside elite groups; the variations in political culture across the country; and the considerable continuing power of mystical, supernatural, and 'non-rational' ideas in British social and political life into the nineteenth century. Dr TIM THORNTON teaches at the University of Huddersfield where he is head of department, History, English, Languages and Media.
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