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Elizabeth Singer Rowe: Dissent, Influence, and Writing Religion, 1690-1740

Clement, Jessica (2017) Elizabeth Singer Rowe: Dissent, Influence, and Writing Religion, 1690-1740. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the religious poetry of Elizabeth Singer Rowe, arguing that her Dissenting identity provides an important foundation on which to which to critically consider her works. Although Rowe enjoyed a successful career, with the majority of her writing seeing multiple editions throughout her lifetime and following her death, her posthumous reputation persists as an overly pious and reclusive religious poet. Moving past these stereotypes, my thesis explores Rowe’s engagement with poetry as a means to convey various aspects of Dissent and her wider religious community. This thesis also contributes to the wider understanding of Dissenting creative writing and influence in the years following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, using Rowe’s work as a platform to demonstrate complexities and cultural shifts within the work of her contemporaries. My argument challenges the notion that Rowe’s religious poetry was a mere exercise in piety or a display of religious sentimentalism, demonstrating powerful evolutions in contemporary discussions of philosophy, religious tolerance, and the relationship between the church and state. A popular figure that appealed to a heterodox reading public, Rowe addresses many aspects of Dissent throughout her work. Combining close readings of Rowe’s poetry and religious writings with the popular works of her contemporaries, this study explores latitudinarian shifts and discussions of depravity within her religious poetry, the impact of the Clarendon Code and subsequent toleration on her conceptualisation of suffering and imprisonment, as well as her use of ecumenical language throughout her writings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.745715
Depositing User: Ms Jessica Clement
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 09:09
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19782

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