Title Early Modern Asceticism
Subtitle Literature, Religion, and Austerity in the English Renaissance
Author Patrick J. McGrath
ISBN 9781487505325
List price USD 70.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 248
Book size 165 x 235 mm
Publishing year 2020
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“Patrick J. McGrath explores the surprisingly varied ways that asceticism persisted after the Reformation; one of the pleasures of this project is the way it upends assumptions about how asceticism persists and who might be attracted to it.”

—Brooke Conti, Department of English, Cleveland State University


“Patrick J. McGrath’s discussion of asceticism makes a definite, significant contribution to research on the relationship between early modern religion and selfhood – an impressive accomplishment, given that many other scholars have discussed this relationship in other terms.”

—James Kuzner, Department of English, Brown University


In discussions of the works of Donne, Milton, Marvell, and Bunyan, Early Modern Asceticism shows how conflicting approaches to asceticism animate depictions of sexuality, subjectivity, and embodiment in early modern literature and religion. The book challenges the perception that the Renaissance marks a decisive shift in attitudes towards the body, sex, and the self. In early modernity, self-respect was a Satanic impulse that had to be annihilated – the body was not celebrated, but beaten into subjection – and, feeling circumscribed by sexual desire, ascetics found relief in pain, solitude, and deformity. On the basis of this austerity, Early Modern Asceticism questions the ease with which scholarship often elides the early and the modern.




Chapter 1. John Donne and Asceticism

Chapter 2. A Mask, Asceticism, and Caroline Culture

Chapter 3. The Virgin’s Body and the Natural World in Lycidas

Chapter 4. Upon Appleton House and the Impossibility of Asceticism

Chapter 5. Self-Denial, Monasticism, and The Pilgrim’s Progress






About the Author:

Patrick J. McGrath is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


Target Audience:

Useful for people interested in literary studies and religion/philosophy.

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