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Confession and Memory in Early Modern English Literature
  • Paul Dustin Stegner, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
This is the first study to consider the significant relationship between private confessional rituals and memory across a range of literary authors. Challenging the usual interpretation of confession as a method of social control, it argues that what many early modern writers valued most about confession is its spiritual, affective, and memorial benefits for individuals and the community. Examining Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Sonnets, and Robert Southwell's poetry and prose, it explores how early modern penitential practices and theories of memory intersect with a variety of literary forms, including epic, tragedy, sonnet sequence, and complaint. This book accounts for the ongoing presence of confession in post-Reformation English literature by reconstructing its dynamic place in early modern English literature and culture.
Publication Date
October, 2015
Palgrave Macmillan
Citation Information
Paul Dustin Stegner. Confession and Memory in Early Modern English Literature. New York, NY(2015)
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