Catalogue

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The Devil in disguise : deception, delusion, and fanaticism in the early English enlightenment /
Mark Knights.
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011.
description
xvii, 279 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9780199577958
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011.
isbn
9780199577958
contents note
The trial of Spencer Cowper -- Partisan feuds -- Quakers -- Moral panic and marital affairs -- Fanatics and false brethren -- Despair and demonism -- Conclusion: an exceptional story?
catalogue key
7604734
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
a thought-provoking book that spurs readers to take an interest in the late Stuart period is much needed and very welcome.
'A unique book'
a work which is ambitious in its remit, entertaining in its form, and successful in its argument: a further notable achievement by a historian with a sure grasp of his craft
"Knights is a careful, inventive researcher and a skilled storyteller. He has an eye for the significant detail and the lively illustration, and this 'dysfunctional family' of 'colorful and salacious egoists' provides him with plenty of material." --The Journal of Modern History "These episodes touch on enough of the themes of England's postrevolutionary culture to turn them into plausible guides to an entire age."--Common Knowledge
"These episodes touch on enough of the themes of England's postrevolutionary culture to turn them into plausible guides to an entire age."--Common Knowledge
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'The Devil in Disguise' illuminates the impact of the two British revolutions of the 17th century and the shifts in religious, political, scientific, literary, economic, social and moral culture that they brought about. It does so through the fascinating story of one family and their locality: the Cowpers of Hertford.
Long Description
The Devil in Disguise illuminates the impact of the two British revolutions of the seventeenth century and the shifts in religious, political, scientific, literary, economic, social, and moral culture that they brought about. It does so through the fascinating story of one family and their locality: the Cowpers of Hertford. Their dramatic history contains a murder mystery, bigamy, a scandal novel, and a tyrannized wife, all set against a backdrop of violently competing local factions, rampant religious prejudice, and the last conviction of a witch in England. Spencer Cowper was accused of murdering a Quaker, and his brother William had two illegitimate children by his second 'wife'. Their scandalous lives became the source of public gossip, much to the horror of their mother, Sarah, who poured out her heart in a diary that also chronicles her feeling of being enslaved to her husband. Her two sons remained in the limelight. Both were instrumental in the prosecution of Henry Sacheverell, a firebrand cleric who preached a sermon about the illegitimacyof resistance and religious toleration. His parliamentary trial in 1710 provoked serious riots in London. William Cowper also intervened in 1712 to secure the life of Jane Wenham, whose trial provoked a wide-ranging debate about witchcraft beliefs. The Cowpers and their town are a microcosm of a changing world. Their story suggests that an early 'Enlightenment', far from being simply a movement of ideas sparked by 'great thinkers', was shaped and advanced by local and personal struggles.
Main Description
Illuminates the impact of the two British revolutions of the seventeenth century and the shifts in religious, political, scientific, literary, economic, social, and moral culture that they brought about. It does so through the fascinating story of one family and their locality: the Cowpers of Hertford. Their dramatic history contains a murder mystery, bigamy, a scandal novel, and a tyrannized wife; all set against a backdrop of violently competing local factions,rampant religious prejudice, and the last conviction of a witch in England. The Cowpers and their town are a microcosm of a changing world. Their story suggests that an early 'Enlightenment', far from being simply a movement of ideas sparked by 'great thinkers', was shaped and advanced by local andpersonal struggles.
Main Description
The Devil in Disguise illuminates the impact of the two British revolutions of the seventeenth century and the shifts in religious, political, scientific, literary, economic, social, and moral culture that they brought about. It does so through the fascinating story of one family and their locality: the Cowpers of Hertford. Their dramatic history contains a murder mystery, bigamy, a scandal novel, and a tyrannized wife, all set against a backdrop of violently competing local factions, rampant religious prejudice, and thelast conviction of a witch in England. Spencer Cowper was accused of murdering a Quaker, and his brother William had two illegitimate children by his second 'wife'. Their scandalous lives became the source of public gossip, much to the horror of their mother, Sarah, who poured out her heart in a diary that also chronicles her feeling ofbeing enslaved to her husband. Her two sons remained in the limelight. Both were instrumental in the prosecution of Henry Sacheverell, a firebrand cleric who preached a sermon about the illegitimacy of resistance and religious toleration. His parliamentary trial in 1710 provoked serious riots inLondon. William Cowper also intervened in 1712 to secure the life of Jane Wenham, whose trial provoked a wide-ranging debate about witchcraft beliefs. The Cowpers and their town are a microcosm of a changing world. Their story suggests that an early 'Enlightenment', far from being simply a movement of ideas sparked by 'great thinkers', was shaped and advanced by local and personal struggles.
Main Description
The Devil in Disguiseilluminates the impact of the two British revolutions of the seventeenth century and the shifts in religious, political, scientific, literary, economic, social, and moral culture that they brought about. It does so through the fascinating story of one family and their locality: the Cowpers of Hertford. Their dramatic history contains a murder mystery, bigamy, a scandal novel, and a tyrannized wife, all set against a backdrop of violently competing local factions, rampant religious prejudice, and the last conviction of a witch in England. Spencer Cowper was accused of murdering a Quaker, and his brother William had two illegitimate children by his second 'wife'. Their scandalous lives became the source of public gossip, much to the horror of their mother, Sarah, who poured out her heart in a diary that also chronicles her feeling of being enslaved to her husband. Her two sons remained in the limelight. Both were instrumental in the prosecution of Henry Sacheverell, a firebrand cleric who preached a sermon about the illegitimacy of resistance and religious toleration. His parliamentary trial in 1710 provoked serious riots in London. William Cowper also intervened in 1712 to secure the life of Jane Wenham, whose trial provoked a wide-ranging debate about witchcraft beliefs. The Cowpers and their town are a microcosm of a changing world. Their story suggests that an early 'Enlightenment', far from being simply a movement of ideas sparked by 'great thinkers', was shaped and advanced by local and personal struggles.
Table of Contents
List of Characters
Chronology
Note to the Reader
Introduction
The Trial of Spencer Cowper
Partisan Feuds
Quakers
Moral Panic and Marital Affairs
Fanatics and False Brethren
Despair and Demonism
Conclusion
Glossary
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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