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Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution - Ann Hughes

Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution

Hardcover Published: 1st June 2004
ISBN: 9780199251926
Number Of Pages: 494

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This is the first comprehensive study of Gangraena, an intemperate anti-sectarian polemic written by a London Presbyterian Thomas Edwards and published in three parts in 1646. These books, which bitterly opposed any moves to religious toleration, were the most notorious and widely debated texts in a Revolution in which print was crucial to political moblization. They have been equally important to later scholars who have continued the lively debate over the value of Gangraena as a source for the ideas and movements its author condemned. This study includes a thorough assessment of the usefulness of Edwards's work as a historical source, but goes beyond this to provide a wide-ranging discussion of the importance of Gangraena in its own right as a lively work of propaganda, crucial to Presbyterian campaigning in the mid-1640s.

Contemporary and later readings of this complex text are traced through a variety of methods, literary and historical, with discussions of printed responses, annotations and citation. Hughes's work thus provides a vivid and convincing picture of revolutionary London and a reappraisal of the nature of 1640s Presbyterianism, too often dismissed as conservative. Drawing on the newer histories of the book and of reading, Hughes explores the influence of Edwards's distasteful but compelling book.

Industry Reviews


"A powerfully argued and wide-ranging study. This volume represents a major scholarly achievement and will be essential reading." --SHARP News


"There is a great deal to admire in Hughes's book, not least in its exemplary scholarship and its integration of empirical research with theoretical approaches borrowed from post-structuralism/postmodernism."--Edward Vallance, Journal of Modern History


"Hughes has written a very fine book, characterized by a remarkable depth of research and a highly intelligent and imaginative use of a complex body of primary sources. The argument is presented crisply and elegantly, and it sheds more light on the world of Thomas Edwards and Gangraena that one might have though possible. It is a very mature and accomplished piece of scholarship, and its approach is one that might fruitfully be applied to other key texts of the period."--David L. Smith, Selwyn College, Cambridge


"[E]xtremely valuable, especially in allowing her to comment with sensitivity on the infuriatingly complex anatomy of midcentury religious and political nonconformity."--Renaissance Quarterly


1: Introductions 2: Gangraena as Heresiography 3: 'Like a universal leprosie over-spread this whole kingdom': City and Provinces in Gangreana 4: 'Books lately printed': Gangraena and the World of Print 5: Edwards, Gangreana, and Presbyterian Mobilisation 6: Conclusions Bibliography

ISBN: 9780199251926
ISBN-10: 0199251924
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 494
Published: 1st June 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 14.0  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.78