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Title: English historiography of the Crusades, 1550-1660
Author: Mower, Andrew James
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores English writings about the crusades from 1550 to 1660. It focuses particularly on the political and religious contexts in which matiyrologist John Foxe, schoolmaster Richard Knolles, and Anglican divine Thomas Fuller wrote about the Holy War to comprehend the emergence of three distinct strands of crusade representation in English historiography. These approaches demonstrate that the crusades were repeatedly remoulded and reimagined in early modem England as part of intra-Protestant polemics fought to define the Anglican Church, and to determine how the nation would position herself politically within an increasingly fractured Christendom. Crusade scepticism, coloured by diverse agendas, competed with a conservative vision of the movement that stylistically owed most to medieval historiography, but that was often driven by a growing feat· of radical religious reform. This balanced perspective on attitudes is reinforced by consideration of key crusading themes in plays, sermons, and other 'non-historical' genres. Taking these texts into account acknowledges that early modem readers absorbed lessons about the past from a broad spectrum of sources, while demonstrating the complex relationship between the Reformation and images of the Holy War in English writings. Finally, the thesis argues that continuity in representations was no less important than change; striking within this diverse portfolio of texts is the coherence with which they viewed the crusades' consequences as pertinent to the Ottoman Empire's continuing attacks on Christian lands. This thesis suggests that only at the end of the seventeenth century, in conjunction with a perception that the Ottoman threat to the West had withered, did English writers detach themselves from the emotions of the crusades, to write about them as a distinct historical phenomenon.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available