- Cultural Reformations
- List of Illustrations
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- National Histories
- Literary Histories
- Enclosed Spaces
- The Eucharist
- The Saints
- Vernacular Theology
- When English Became Latin
- Heresy and Treason
- Naughty Printed Books
- Utopian Pleasure
- Poetic Fame
- London Books and London Readers
- The Reformation of the Household
- Active and Contemplative Lives
- Autobiography and the History of Reading
Abstract and Keywords
As he faced his own dissolution, Henry VIII repeatedly invoked a religious group who had been absent from his kingdom for seven years: the monks. The 1570s saw an irrevocable change in the nature of English Catholicism as Catholic clergy trained in England died, retired, or conformed. During this period, the first waves of Englishmen trained in the new continental “seminaries” as Catholic secular priests swore allegiance to the universal Church and to the Pope as missionaries for Christ. Moreover, the new orders such as the Theatines, the Capuchins, and the Jesuits eclipsed traditional European and coenobitic monasticism. This article examines the cultural disappearance of monks, monasteries, and monasticism in England during the late medieval period. It also considers how authors such as William Shakespeare, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Thomas Walsingham, Barnabe Googe, John Donne, William Langland, and Geoffrey Chaucer remember the monks in their works.
Vincent Gillespie is J. R. R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford, and Executive Secretary of the Early English Text Society. He works on catechetical, devotional, and contemplative texts produced in England in the Middle Ages. He is also interested in medieval literary theory and the psychology of literary response. His edition of the brethren's library registrum of the Birgittine house of Syon Abbey was published in 2001 as part of the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues. He co-edited and contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism (Cambridge, 2011). A selection of his articles has been published as Looking in Holy Books: Essays on Late-Medieval Religious Writing in England (Brepols, 2011). He is co-editing and contributing to After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth-Century England (Brepols, 2012), Probable Truth Editing Medieval Texts from Britain in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming, Brepols), and A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain (forthcoming, Boydell and Brewer).
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