Love's Pilgrimage: The Holy Journey in English Renaissance Literature

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1st Edition

University of Delaware Press, hardback, 250 x 165 mm. 224pp
In stock in Australia, for immediate despatch

In Love's Pilgrimage Grace Tiffany explores literary adaptations of the Catholic pilgrimage in the Protestant poetry and prose of Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, and John Bunyan. Her discussion of these authors' works illuminates her larger claim that while in the 16th century conventional pilgrimages to saints' shrines disappeared - as did shrines themselves - from English life, the imaginative importance of the pilgrimage persisted, and manifested itself in various ways in English culture.

Tiffany first invokes the work of historians Stanford Lehmberg, David Daniell, and Eamon Duffy, as well as the literary and dramatic depictions of pilgrimage found in William Langland's, Geoffrey Chaucer's, and John Heywood's works, to show that during the 14th, 15th, and early 16th centuries, when English churches still maintained shrines, pilgrimage was already changing into secular tourism. English authors' and Continental and English Reformers' descriptions of pilgrimages as occasions for amorous dalliance helped disseminate a Reformed English view that pilgrimages were carnal rather than pious activities, an idea that powerfully influenced the pilgrimages' later Renaissance representations in drama and literature.

At the same time, the Protestant belief that Purgatory did not exist and that salvation was not assisted by works transformed pilgrimage from self-sanctifying, God-approaching journey to evangelical mission, a mission that was mixed with early-modern English commercial and imperial zeal. Tiffany shows that various English Renaissance ideas about pilgrimage - that is, pilgrimage as erotic, evangelical, commercial, or imperialist adventure, or a combination of all or any of these - inflected both serious and playful representations of pilgrimage in the work of the age's greatest writers. Thus she demonstrates how an important Catholic tradition was both modified and maintained for an early-modern Protestant readership.

Grace Tiffany is a Professor of Renaissance literature at Western Michigan University.


SKU 9780874139488
Barcode # 9780874139488
Brand AUP
Artist / Author Grace TIFFANY

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