This is a wide-ranging interdisciplinary collection of material from primary sources, illustrating the relationship between cultural change and religious belief in sixteenth-century Europe. It contains more than eighty extracts drawn from a variety of genres including political, religious, philosophical and legal writing, diaries, letters, plays, poems and fiction. Some have never previously been published, others have not been reprinted since their original appearance in the sixteenth century, and a number are translated into modern English for the first time. It includes writing from such renowned thinkers as Erasmus, Luther, Machiavelli, and Sir Thomas More, besides that of lesser-known authors. Works of literature also feature extensively, and writings from Cervantes, Rabelais, Edmund Spenser, and Sir Philip Sidney amongst many others are all to be found here. A general introduction describes the anthology's central aim - to explore aspects of the interrelationship between the politics, religion and writing of the period. The book is divided into eight thematic sections.
Spelling in the extracts has been sensitively modernized throughout, and the editors provide a headnote and appropriate explanatory annotation for each item.