Reference > Cambridge History > Cavalier and Puritan > Caroline Divines > Puritan literature of the days of Charles I
  Thomas Traherne; Centuries of Meditations Richard Baxter  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.

VI. Caroline Divines.

§ 3. Puritan literature of the days of Charles I.


Baker and Traherne may be compared, but, perhaps, as obviously contrasted. Another contrast is equally significant of the interests of the age of Charles I. If Roman Catholics lived and wrote apart from the general life of the nation, no one could say that this was true of the greater part of that large and ill-defined class to which the name of puritan was given. The secrecy of Martin Marprelate was a thing of the past, and, with it, for the most part, its scurrility and vulgarity. But there were puritans and puritans. The puritan literature of the earlier years of Charles I ranged, even in its theological aspect, from the solemn and pedantic extravagance of Prynne (notably in Histriomastix, 1632)  2  through ponderous verbiage with an occasional touch of humour, like The Dipper Dipt, or the Anabaptist Duck’t and Plung’d over Head and Ears in a Disputation by Daniel Featley, D.D. (1645), to the rough force of Burton and Bastwick, and the mere ribaldry of the verses and fly-sheets against prelacy such as Rot amongst the Bishops and Rome for Canterbury or a true relation of the Birth and Life of William Laud (1641). And, when this is said, there is still omitted the solemn dignity of sermons like those of Stephen Marshall (printed in A Brief Vindication of Mr. Stephen Marshal by Giles Firmin, 1681) and the impressive mass of the whole literature produced by Richard Baxter.   5

Note 2. See ante, Vol. VI, Chap. XIV. [ back ]

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Thomas Traherne; Centuries of Meditations Richard Baxter  
 
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