Conversion Narratives in Early Modern England

Tales of Turning

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Abigail Shinn
Early Modern Literature in History
  • London, England: 
    Palgrave Macmillan
    , October
     255 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Danielle Sottosanti forthcoming.


This book is a study of English conversion narratives between 1580 and 1660. Focusing on the formal, stylistic properties of these texts, it argues that there is a direct correspondence between the spiritual and rhetorical turn. Furthermore, by focusing on a comparatively early period in the history of the conversion narrative the book charts for the first time writers’ experimentation and engagement with rhetorical theory before the genre’s relative stabilization in the 1650s. A cross confessional study analyzing work by both Protestant and Catholic writers, this book explores conversion’s relationship with reading; the links between conversion, eloquence, translation and trope; the conflation of spiritual movement with literal travel; and the use of the body as a site for spiritual knowledge and proof.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Abigail Shinn is Lecturer in Early Modern Literature and Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London.


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