John Foxe’s seely, poore women

Anderson, R (2015) 'John Foxe’s seely, poore women.' The Downside Review, 133 (467). pp. 4-40. ISSN 0012-5806

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John Foxe's Acts and Monuments provides us with more information about the female participants in the English Reformation than any other work of the period and, at the same time, poses the question for historians of why some female martyrs of the Marian period differed so convincingly from the Protestant norm, which saw women subsumed to man. While women’s role in society was not of great import to Protestant reformers, the changes they did advocate had considerable significance for women. There is clearly a difficulty in the message Foxe is giving us about appropriate women’s roles, and the traditionally submissive and sexually chaste role prescribed for women is certainly not the one demonstrated by Foxe’s women.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: John Foxe; Catholic; Protestant; church history; women; martyrs; Reformation; Mary I;
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 12:04
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:40
References: Primary Sources William Allen, A true, sincere and modest defence, of English Catholiques that suffer for their faith both at home and abrode against a false, seditious and slanderous libel intituled; The exectuion of iustice in England. VVherein is declared, hovv vniustlie the Protestants doe charge Catholiques vvith treason ... , [Rouen : Fr. Parsons› press, 1584] Timothie Bright, An abridgement of the booke of acts and monumentes of the Church: written by that Reuerend Father, Maister Iohn Fox: and now abridged by Timothe Bright, Doctour of Phisicke, for such as either through want of leysure, or abilitie haue not the vse of so necessary an history, Imprinted at London: By I. Windet, at the assignment of Master Tim Bright, and are to be sold at Pauls wharf, at the signe of the Crosse-keyes, (1589) John Foxe, Acts and Monuments [16th century, frontispiece missing] Downside Abbey Library and Archive, 78593: F75F The Letters of the Martyrs collected and published in 1564, with a preface by Miles Coverdale and an introduction by the Rev. Edward Bickersteth (1837) Thomas Mason, Christs victorie ouer Sathans tyrannie (1615) Robert Parsons, A treatise of three conversions of England from paganisme to Christian religion: Divided in 3 partes (1604) Secondary Sources G. Alexander, ‘Bonner and the Marian persecutions’, History, 60, 200 (1975) pp. 374-92 Andrew Atherstone, The martyrs of Mary Tudor: the burning of Protestants during England’s ‘reign of terror’ (Leominster, 2005) Carroley Erickson, Bloody Mary (New York, 1978) Harrison Crumrine, ‘The Oxford Martyrs and the English Protestant Movement, 1553-58’, The Historian, 70, 1 (2008) pp. 75-90 Eamon Duffy and David Loades (eds.),The Church of Mary Tudor (Aldershot, 2006) Eamon Duffy, Fires of Faith: Catholic England Under Mary Tudor (New Haven and London, 2009) Thomas S. Freeman and Thomas F. Mayer, (eds.), Martyrs and martyrdom in England, c.1400-1700 (Studies in modern British religious history, 15) (Woodbridge, 2007) W. Haller, The Elect Nation, (New York, 1963) F.H. Hansford-Miller, The 282 Protestant Martyrs of England and Wales, 1555- 1558 (1970) O.T. Hargrave, ‘Bloody Mary’s victims: the iconography of John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’, Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 51 (1982) pp. 7-21 Jennifer Loach, ‘Mary Tudor and the re-Catholicisation of England’, History Today, 44, 11 (1994) pp. 16-22 David M. Loades, ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and the Face of England’, History Today, 55, 12 (2005) pp. 40-9. David M. Loades, ‘John Foxe and the traitors: the politics of the Marian persecution’, Studies in Church History, 30 (1993) pp. 231-44. David M. Loades, The Oxford Martyrs (1970). David M. Loades, ‘The Enforcement of Reaction, 1553-8’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 16 (1965) pp. 54-66 ‘David M. Loades, The Essex inquisitions of 1556’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 35 (1962) pp. 87-97 M.A. Lower, The Sussex Martyrs: their examinations and cruel burnings in the time of Queen Mary (Lewes, 1851) Ellen Macek, ‘The Emergence of a Feminine Spirituality in the Book of Martyrs’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 19 (1988) pp. 63-80 C. McClendon and Joseph P. Ward (eds.), Protestant identities: religion, society, and self-fashioning in post-Reformation England (Stanford, 1999) Annie Page, History of the Martyrs during the reign of Queen Mary, from the wind’s record of them (1861). K.G. Powell, The Marian Martyrs and the Reformation in Bristol (Bristol, 1972). Philip H. Rand, Faithful unto Death: The Martyrs of East Anglia (1937). Jasper Ridley, Bloody Mary’s Martyrs: The Story of England’s Terror (2001) Will Saunders, ‘Wily Winchester: Stephen Gardiner’, History Review, 57, Mar 2007 John Spurgin, The Norfolk and Norwich Martyrs, who suffered in the reigns of Henry VIII and Queen Mary (Norwich, 1855) Jenny G.M. Webb, Bloody Mary and the Suffolk Martyrs (Grantham, 2002) Karen Winstead, Virgin Martyrs: Legends of the Sainthood in Late Medieval England (New York, 1997)
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