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Title: The manuscript culture of an English recusant Catholic community in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries : a study of The great hodge podge and the Blundell family of Little Crosby, Lancashire
Author: Vuuren, Julie van
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 1152
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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The Lancastrian Blundells of Little Crosby were Catholics whose determined recusancy resulted in repeated clashes with the early modem state. Within their extensive archive, The Great Hodge Podge is a miscellany written by generations of Blundell squires. Unlike any other early modem text, each entry provides greater understanding of how Catholic gentry sustained their faith community. From lists of 'religious kin', letters detailing the complexity of Catholic gentry marriage, and even a section serving as a song book, each element in the book contributes to a comprehensive view of Catholic life during the turbulent years from Elizabeth I, through the Civil War, to the reign of William and Mary. This study explores The Great Hodge Podge in its entirety, highlighting miscellany as a valuable, yet understudied genre. The text is revealed as a strategic tool used to maintain Catholic community. This project explores themes such as religious kin and priesthood, community writing, representations of marriage and women, polemical antagonism and belonging, and finally music within miscellany. The miscellany is contextualized within early modem culture, both as a Catholic and gentry text, with particular attention to the longevity of the manuscript's use. Early modem literary culture is considered with close readings and case studies of verse and prose extracts. Examples from popular print provide comparisons for elements within the miscellany. The exploration of early modem musical trends provides context to the songs written by William Blundell (1560-1638), and musical function within the miscellany is recognised for its community importance. Other Catholic verse miscellanies provide comparisons when considering transmission of the text, and how The Great Hodge Podge differs from other types of Catholic writing. Other parts of the Blundell archive including letterbooks and diumals support contextual readings. This study responds to the decontextualisation of miscellanies, and warns of what can be missed by fragmented readings of texts of this type.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available