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The political function of Elizabethan literary celebrity

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kate De RyckerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Between 1588-89, some of the most notorious pamphlets of the Elizabethan age were printed from a secret press, making a phenomenon of their pseudonymous author ’Martin Marprelate’. What made them so scandalous was not so much their content, which advocated the overhaul of Church hierarchy, but rather that they did so using an irreverent prose style, spoken by a recognizable and entertaining persona. This paper will suggest that the impact of ‘The Martin Marprelate Tracts’ was their use of literary celebrity to expand the audience for political discourse, and that this led to the unsettling idea that a charismatic writer could become a disruptive social figure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): De-Rycker K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Celebrity Studies

Year: 2017

Volume: 8

Issue: 1

Pages: 157-161

Online publication date: 07/02/2017

Acceptance date: 14/11/2016

Date deposited: 08/02/2017

ISSN (print): 1939-2397

ISSN (electronic): 1939-2400

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2016.1275323


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