16th-century English attitudes towards the power of language
(only section 1 currently has content)
1. Introduction 7. Language and effeminacy
2. Mistrust of the power of language 8. Reading
3. Support for the power of language 9. Self-doubts among pietists
4. Language in Eden and Babel 10. Self-doubts among secularists
5. Returning to pure language 11. Artistic language and the dangers of child-rearing
6. The Word
I think of this content, based on my dissertation completed in 1978, as time capsule scholarship, because much of it is based on research completed 30 years ago, and additions since then are relatively meager. While the content is not publishable without that extra work, it may still be of interest to some.
Between 1978 and around 1993, I sporadically did further research and re-wrote much of the material. But I have added little since then other than editing done now to prepare the sections for inclusion on this web site.
I have done a fair amount of added research that I have not yet included, but much more would need to be done. For me, section 9 is the most problematic. I am still persuaded of the accuracy of its thesis but I have never buttressed it with much secondary support. Of particular support there, should I return to the chapter, is content from Deborah Shuger, especially Sacred Rhetoric: The Christian Grand Style in the English Renaissance, Princeton, 1988.
Note that when I wrote this, I modernized spellings, though I’m not sure I would do that today.