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The Martin Marprelate tracts are the most famous pamphlets of the English Renaissance; to their contemporaries they were the most notorious. Printed in 1588 and 1589 on a secret press carted across the English countryside from one sympathetic household to another, the seven tracts attack the Church of England, particularly its bishops (hence the pseudonym, Mar-prelate), and advocate a Presbyterian system of church government. Scandalously witty, racy, and irreverent, the Marprelate tracts are the finest prose satires of their era. Their colloquial style and playfully self-dramatizing manner influenced the fiction and theatre of the Elizabethan Golden Age. This text was the first fully annotated edition of the tracts to appear in almost a century. A lightly modernized text makes Martin Marprelate's famous voice easily accessible, and a full introduction details the background, sources, production, authorship, and seventeenth-century afterlife of the tracts.
Joseph Black is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Release date NZ
April 10th, 2008
Edited by Joseph L. Black
Country of Publication
Cambridge University Press
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