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Title: Glaring at Anti-Christ : anti-Papal images in Early Modern England, c530-1680
Author: Morton, Adam Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 1966
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines images of the Papacy in Early Modern England, from the Reformation to the Exclusion Crisis. It asserts that book illustrations and single-sheet engravings played vital roles in Early Modern culture hitherto under-explored by historians, and argues that to grasp the importance of the visual attention must be paid to the ways in which images were used. Doing so makes for a more fruitful study of the visual than approaches which focus on audience, and images are seen to have been critical to Protestant memory, protest, political culture and piety. Challenging conceptions of 'propaganda', it is argued that satire existed as commentary which edified existing views rather than an attempt to persuade or win converts to confessional or political positions. Moreover, the historiographical commonplace that images existed as a means of reaching the semi-literate is challenged - conversely, in light of Renaissance rhetoric images are understood to have been ways of flattering the erudite and making an author's arguments more forcefully. Graphic satire is also located more widely within cultures of shame and ridicule, and laughter here is seen as a means of punishment - dishonouring the Pope's image was a means of revenge, and one which resolved anxieties caused by the presence of Catholics and Catholicism within Protestant England. It is ultimately argued that the Reformation was not a rejection of the sense of sight, but rather the replacement of one way of seeing with another. The central Anti-Catholic concept - Antichrist - was intensely visual, and interpreting scriptural emblems spawned a way of seeing that was interpretative. As a result, looking at Catholic images could prove edifying for Protestants: that they were not seduced by them existed as proof of their membership of the True Church.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available