Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History: Godly Reading: Print, Manuscript and Puritanism in England, 1580-1720

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This innovative study explores the history of Puritanism and the history of reading in the long seventeenth century. Drawing on a wide range of significant but understudied source materials, it seeks to advance our understanding of Puritan or 'godly' culture by examining the place of reading within that culture between c.1580 and 1720. In contrast to long-standing claims about the connections between advanced Protestantism and emergent individualism and interiority, the book demonstrates the importance of communal and public forms of reading in the practice of godly piety. Andrew Cambers employs a novel framework, based around the spaces and places of early modern reading, to offer a revised understanding of the nature of Puritanism and of the practice and representation of reading during the period. Moving beyond existing interpretations, Godly Reading opens up fresh discussions and debates about the nature of early modern reading and religion.