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Title: 'Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord' : Puritan spiritual diaries and autobiographies in seventeenth-century England
Author: Vivian, Claire Louise
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2008
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Recent analysis of early modern spiritual diaries and autobiographies has tended to focus on 'self-fashioning' - how authors used their texts to create their own identity - but little interest has been shown in the degree of variation present in this form of writing and how the various identities related to one another once created. If anything, scholars have been reluctant to admit that there are any notable differences between such texts, instead preferring to uncover the 'pattern' that all spiritual relations follow through a study of texts by seventeenth-century English Puritans this thesis argues that a definite degree of individuality is present within each account. Even though common themes, such as the need for assurance and a belief in mankind's inherent depravity, may be found, a more detailed consideration reveals subtle, yet important variations. My main aim has not been to uncover new, previously unstudied, spiritual autobiographies, but to examine new possibilities for widely-read writings, such as John Bunyan's Grace Abounding and George Trosse's Life. Nevertheless, discussions of little-known texts such as Cicely Johnson's Fanatical Reveries and Rose 1 hurgood's Lecture of Repentance have also proved fruitful. Somewhat tempering this emphasis on individuality is the central discussion of the inlluences on the composition of these works. Here it is argued that, despite the seemingly private nature of some accounts, spiritual diaries and autobiographies played a vital role in communal life and were generally intended to be read by an audience of some description - even if only family and friends.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available