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Chapter 1 - Merry Worlds

Tudor Nostalgia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2019

Harriet Phillips
Affiliation:
Queen Mary University of London
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Summary

This chapter argues that the phrase ‘the merry world’ – and sometimes even the word ‘mirth’ – acquired a coded status in Reformation polemical print that then shadowed its use in other contexts: a way of expressing nostalgia for the pre-dissolution past that was proximate to, but not identical with, sedition and recusancy. There is evidence that these feelings were widespread, even amongst orthodox Protestants, but also that they remained potentially incendiary. Focusing on a series of disguised-king broadside ballads set in a pseudo-medieval ‘merry’ past, it suggests the historical fictions of cheap print recuperated the psychic materials of merry world complaint as a source of cosy and uncontentious pleasure.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • Merry Worlds
  • Harriet Phillips, Queen Mary University of London
  • Book: Nostalgia in Print and Performance, 1510–1613
  • Online publication: 08 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108612685.002
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  • Merry Worlds
  • Harriet Phillips, Queen Mary University of London
  • Book: Nostalgia in Print and Performance, 1510–1613
  • Online publication: 08 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108612685.002
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Merry Worlds
  • Harriet Phillips, Queen Mary University of London
  • Book: Nostalgia in Print and Performance, 1510–1613
  • Online publication: 08 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108612685.002
Available formats
×