Abstract and Keywords
Throughout the early modern period, the pedant stocked with ‘inkhorn terms’ is a ready figure of comedy in Renaissance England, as elsewhere in Europe. Behind these comic figures lie a series of debates and pronouncements about the porousness of early modern English vis-à-vis other languages, Latin in particular. This chapter takes questions about Latinate English as representative of the interpenetration of religious and literary ideas in the period, tracing interconnected ideas about the autonomy of the language, literature, and church of early modern England. Resistance to literary inkhornism is part of a broader assertion of national autonomy and religious identity. This autonomy, Ferguson argues, was not only linguistic and literary but also ecclesiastic, and thus tied up intimately with the language of the English Bible.
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