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Literature and dissent in Milton's England /
Sharon Achinstein.
imprint
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.
description
xii, 302 p. : ill.
ISBN
0521818044
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.
isbn
0521818044
catalogue key
4851129
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-01-01:
Achinstein's labeling of 1660-1700 as "Milton's England" provocatively challenges the assumptions underlying the more common period labels of "Restoration England" or "Dryden's England." It asserts that Milton's Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, and Paradise Regained are not the late flowering of a Renaissance sensibility, but rather a part of a more pervasive dissenting literature that reflects pervasive cultural, political, and religious trends of the later 17th century. Arguing that this dissenting literature has been unjustly neglected, Achinstein examines the dissenter's experience through the lenses of imprisonment, violence, enthusiasm, poetics, and hymns. A major goal of her argument is to show how the government's exclusion of dissenters from public speaking, teaching, and ministering led to their dependence on writing as a key tool for opposing oppression and defending nonconforming religious practices. A second goal is to explore the changing nature of religious radicalism in the period, a dynamic that Achinstein suggests has much to teach about religious intolerance and fundamentalism today. Well-written and readable, with thorough notes and an index. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. B. E. Brandt South Dakota State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Achinstein's readings of dissenting cultures, genres, and texts are generous and nuanced... Her readings of Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes combine a confident handling of biography, social history, and religious polemics with careful thematic and formal analysis... reminds us of the importance of seeing this literary culture whole." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
'A fine book ... illuminating discussion.' The Glass
'A fine book ... illuminating discussion.'The Glass
'A fine book ... illuminating discussion.’The Glass
"...brilliant...a book with big ideas..." CLIO, Melinda S. Zook
'... important study ... Achinstein's study valuably restores a forgotten generation of writers to the literary canon.'Times Literary Supplement
'... important study ... Achinstein’s study valuably restores a forgotten generation of writers to the literary canon.’Times Literary Supplement
important study Achinsteins study valuably restores a forgotten generation of writers to the literary canon. Times Literary Supplement
"Offers a new and more nuanced and complicated [...] account of the value of dissenting literature." H-ALBION
"Sharon Achinstein's Literature and Dissent in Milton's England is a rich and eloquent book." SEL Studies in English Literature, Achsah Guibbory, Recent Studies in the English Renaissance
"This book brilliantly participates in the ongoing commentary on Dissent in seventeenth-century England." Journal of Religion
"This compelling study of the undervalued genres of dissent, especially hymns and funerals, is essential reading for all scholars of seventeenth-century England." - Rachel Warburton, Lakehead University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2004
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The England of John Milton's great poems was the England of Dissenters, those who refused to join the state church. This book shows how a literary tradition of dissent was produced by those who suffered political defeat and religious exclusion in Restoration England.
Description for Bookstore
Achinstein shows how a literary tradition of dissent was produced by those who suffered political defeat and religious exclusion in Restoration England, bringing to view a range of writing that has been largely neglected. This important study will be of interest to Milton scholars and seventeenth-century literary and religious historians.
Description for Bookstore
The England of John Milton's great poems was the England of Dissenters, those who refused to join the state church after the return of monarchy in 1660, seen as dangerous outcasts and rebels. Sharon Achinstein's book shows how a literary tradition of dissent was produced by those who suffered political defeat and religious exclusion in Restoration England, bringing to view a range of writing that has been largely, and unjustly, neglected. This important study will be of interest to Milton scholars and seventeenth-century literary and religious historians.
Main Description
The England of John Milton's great poems was the England of Dissenters, those who refused to join the state church after the return of monarchy in 1660 and were seen as dangerous outcasts and rebels. Sharon Achinstein reveals how a literary tradition of dissent was produced by those who suffered political defeat and religious exclusion in Restoration England. Disclosing a range of writing that has been largely and unjustly neglected, this important study is of interest to Milton scholars and seventeenth-century literary and religious historians.
Main Description
The England of John Milton’s great poems was the England of Dissenters, those who refused to join the state church after the return of monarchy in 1660, seen as dangerous outcasts and rebels. Sharon Achinstein’s book shows how a literary tradition of dissent was produced by those who suffered political defeat and religious exclusion in Restoration England, bringing to view a range of writing that has been largely, and unjustly, neglected. Considering authors both inside and outside the dissenting tradition, including, Milton, John Bunyan, Richard Baxter, Mary Mollineux, John Dryden, Andrew Marvell, Elizabeth Singer Rowe, and Isaac Watts, and other little-known dissenting writers, Achinstein shows how a distinctive, Dissenting cultural legacy challenges our current notions of literary history, aesthetic value, and the relation between literature and politics. This important study will be of interest to Milton scholars and seventeenth-century literary and religious historians.
Main Description
The England of John Miltons great poems was the England of Dissenters, those who refused to join the state Church after the return of monarchy in 1660, seen as dangerous outcasts and rebels. Sharon Achinsteins book shows how a literary tradition of dissent was produced by those who suffered political defeat and religious exclusion in Restoration England, bringing to view a range of writing that has been largely, and unjustly, neglected. Considering authors both inside and outside the dissenting tradition, including Milton, John Bunyan, Richard Baxter, Mary Mollineux, John Dryden, Andrew Marvell, Elizabeth Singer Rowe and Isaac Watts, and other little-known dissenting writers, Achinstein shows how a distinctive Dissenting cultural legacy challenges our notions of literary history, aesthetic value and the relation between literature and politics. This important study will be of interest to Milton scholars and seventeenth-century literary and religious historians.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Notes on references
Reading dissent
Memory
Prison
Violence
Milton
Enthusiasm
Poetics
Hymn
Coda: Enlightenment
Appendix: Milton's burial place
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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