A biographical study of Robert Southwell (1561-1595) and his historical and cultural milieu
Citation:Ibrahim A. Mumayiz, 'A biographical study of Robert Southwell (1561-1595) and his historical and cultural milieu', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of English, 1987, pp 446, pp 229
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Introduction: explains the nature of this biographical study of Southwell, how it differs from previous ones; the contributions it seeks to make; and the general lines along which the biographical narrative proceeds. It also discusses the modern approaches to biography as debated during "The Conference on Modern Biography" held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in April 1985. Chapter One: surveys certain aspects of Sixteenth century England which affected Southwell’s character indirectly. These aspects include economic, social and political factors as well as adverse patterns of behaviour on a personal level; all leading to deteriorating conditions for a depressed minority like the English Catholics. Much space and emphasis is placed here on Elizabethan-Papal relations and how their oscillations were directly reflected in Elizabethan treatment of English Catholics. Chapter Two: surveys the history of the Southwell family and contains a lengthy account of the career of Southwell’s grandfather, Sir Richard Southwell, who being a notable patentate in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and especially during Mary’s Catholic reign, effectively removed his descendants from favour - by virtue of the Southwell’s family’s staunch Catholicism –during Elizabeth’s reign. The effects of such social estrangement and ostracism on Southwell are assessed. Chapter Three: this is an account of the life of Southwell’s father Richard Southwell and his mother Bridget Copley Southwell and their formative influences on Southwell. Chapter Four: is a description of Southwell’s birthplace; an incident in his infancy; the political, social and religious situation in Norfolk during his childhood; why his mother had to move to Southern England to live with her relatives. Chapter Five: is a description of the social, economic and religious situation in the three Southern counties of Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, the situation concerning the Catholic gentry and aristocracy, and the centres of power and patronage to which Southwell was attracted. Chapter Six: is a survey of the social, political and religious situation in Douai, Flanders where Southwell went for Seminary training in 1576, and being the first foreign town he lived in, the effects it had on his character. A brief account of his schooling in Anchin College, and the English College where he boarded, are given. Chapter Seven: A full account is given of life in a Sixteenth century Jesuit College - Clermont College - which Southwell attended for about six months in 1576/77. The political situation in Paris, Anglo-French relations, are all touched upon, assessing each point’s effect on Southwell. Chapter Eight: Here, selected aspects of Southwell’s sojourn in Rome (1578-1586) are dealt with in depth; - newly discovered material about the English College and its troubles; various educational and literary influences on Southwell; descriptions of Rome and its city on Southwell; effects of the Martyrdom concept as depicted in frescoes and paintings in Roman Jesuit Colleges; scenes of flagellation; and his departure for England. Chapter Nine: is a day to day/week by week/month by month - as each case may be of Southwell’s sojourn and activities since his secret arrival in England till his trial and execution in 1595.
Author: Mumayiz, Ibrahim A.
Advisor:Ní Chuilleanaín, Eiléan
Publisher:Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of English
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Type of material:thesis
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