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By R. Malcolm Smuts

This booklet offers a clean synthesis of relationships among cultural heritage and politics, from the eve of the Armada to the demise of Charles II in 1685. It rejects whiggish and Marxist teleologies that experience formed past bills of this topic and emphasises as a substitute the range of cultural views on hand within the interval; the function performed by means of techniques of honour, legislations, divine windfall and humanist scholarship; the profound significance of non secular tensions in shaping political mind's eye; and the growing to be cultural value of clash and partisanship in the course of and after the Civil struggle.

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A second family of providentialist ideas derived from scriptural concepts of history as sacred drama. It comprised various apocalyptic theories, which became particularly prevalent during the Civil War, as well as forms of prophetic discourse that did not necessarily imply the imminence of the millennium. 13l Although scriptural providentialism might be linked to order theory in various ways, it differed markedly in tone and emphasis. Whereas order theory stressed eternal hierarchical principles, biblical narratives portrayed world history as a dynamic struggle of good and evil, unfolding through cycles of sin, punishment, suffering and redemption.

Many Dutch and French Protestant pamphlets, newsbooks and histories were translated and reprinted in Elizabethan England: the peak decade, 1585-95, saw the publication of 130 tracts on French affairs alone. 20 One printer, John Wolfe, built up a network of foreign correspondents and a stable of hack translators, while working with Burghley and Walsingham to issue anonymous propaganda pamphlets in English and foreign languages. 21 It has been estimated that nearly a fifth of all works printed in London in the early 1590s consisted of political news and polemics concerning European religious conflicts.

The cultural construction of puritanism Anti-popish rhetoric was used even more frequently against the ceremonies and bishops of the Elizabethan Church. In the 1590s a reaction developed, associated with Archbishop John Whitgift's drive against presbyterianism and responses to the notorious anti-episcopal satires of Martin Marprelate. 24 In the short run Hooker's book was less influential than a spate of anti-puritan satires, many initially subsidized by the bishops as counterattacks on the anti-episcopal satires of Martin Marprelate.

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