Retelling the Siege of Jerusalem in Early Modern England traces sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English retellings of the Roman siege of Jerusalem and the way they informed and were informed by religious and political developments. The siege featured prominently in many early modern English sermons, ballads, plays, histories, and pamphlets, functioning as a touchstone for writers who sought to locate their own national drama of civil and religious tumult within a larger biblical/post-biblical context. Reformed England identified with besieged Jerusalem, establishing an equivalency between the Protestant Church and the ancient Jewish nation. As print culture grew, secular interpretations of the siege spoke to the political anxieties in England as it was beginning to fashion a conception of itself as a nation. Retelling the Siege of Jerusalem in Early Modern England thus illustrates the pliability of the siege trope and charts the changing value of history across the seventeenth century: from requisite knowledge for the religious to a fashionable pursuit for the literate and culturally informed.
About the Author
Vanita Neelakanta is Associate professor of English at Rider University.
Reviews of 'Retelling the Siege of Jerusalem in Early Modern England'
Her choice of texts, the diverse genres, and the span of chronology make this a major contribution to our understanding of early modern England.