Imagining Esther in Early Modern France

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This study argues that the characterization of the biblical heroine Esther was instrumental in early modern France in challenging and renegotiating the monarchical institution. Literary and visual representations of Esther suggest that the queen’s involvement is critical in ensuring justice and peace in the realm as she successfully turns Ahasuerus into a genuine king able to listen, share, and free his people from oppression and tyranny.

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Venerating the Virgin Martyrs: The Cult of the Virgines Capitales in Art, Literature, and Popular Piety

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This study presents the first in-depth analysis of the cult of the Virgines Capitales in late medieval Germany. Devotion to the four capital virgins—Saints Barbara, Catherine, Margaret, and Dorothy—thrived in the Germanic territories during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

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Demographic Dimensions of the Mid-Tudor Crisis

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That the mid-Tudor Crisis was also a demographic crisis seems to have escaped general notice, partly because of E. A. Wrigley and Roger Schofield’s belief that England’s population fell by no more than 5.5 to 6.0 percent in the later 1550s, partly because non-economic historians have viewed it mainly in political and religious terms. Yet a fall in population of 16 to 20 percent has been argued by economic historians using probate records.

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Shooting for England: Configuring the Book and the Bow in Roger Ascham’s Toxophilus

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SKU: 1365281692104

This essay argues that the subject matter and context of Roger Ascham’s Toxophilus are as important as its linguistic and stylistic qualities. Advocacy of archery formed the core of Ascham’s rhetorical strategy when he presented Toxophilus to Henry VIII in 1545; the treatise proposes a number of ways in which the arts of the bow relate to those of the book.

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Menno and Muhammad: Anabaptists and Mennonites Reconsider Islam, 1525–1657

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From the apocalyptic whip of God to a misunderstood religion deserving of serious analysis, the perception of Islam in Anabaptist and Mennonite circles reflected the changing political situation and intellectual landscape of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Beginning with the image of the Turk in the early Anabaptist tradition, this article turns to an in-depth analysis of Dutch Anabaptist opinion through the seventeenth century, focusing on representatives of both the conservative and liberal (Doopsgezind) wings.

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“Uncouth language to a Princes ears”: Archibald Armstrong, Court Jester, and Early Stuart Politics

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SKU: 1365272393492

In March 1638 Archibald “Archy” Armstrong, jester, was unceremoniously ejected from the court of King Charles I, as a result of a pointed jest he made to Archbishop William Laud regarding the trouble then occurring in Scotland over the archbishop’s religious policies. !us ended Armstrong’s long career at court, as jester first to James I/VI and then to his son, Charles. Evidence suggests that Armstrong was not acting out of character; by all accounts, his notoriety was built upon his propensity for making remarks.

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