Frances E. Dolan
“ Whores of Babylon is essential reading for scholars working on the intersections of gender, religion, law, and nationalism in early modern England. Dolan’s scholarship combines meticulous historical research and textual analysis with a sophisticated grasp of theoretical and historiographical questions. Moreover, Dolan’s lucid prose makes her exemplary form of cultural criticism a pleasure to read." — Sixteenth Century Journal
In Whores of Babylon, Frances E. Dolan offers a penetrating study of the central role that Catholics and Catholicism played in early modern English law, literature, and politics. She contends that despite sharing the same blood, origins, and history as their Protestant antagonists, Catholics provoked more prolific and intemperate visual and verbal representation, and more elaborate and sustained legal regulation, than any other marginal group in seventeenth-century England. This careful and thorough study examines legal and literary representations of the “Catholic menace” during three crises in Protestant/Catholic relations, from the Gunpowder Plot (1605) to the Popish Plot and Meal Tub Plot (1678-80). It also offers the first sustained analysis of the extent to which gender issues informed both Catholicism and anti-Catholicism in the early modern period. Available for the first time in paperback, this book will appeal to scholars and students of early modern England, Catholic history, and gender studies.
“[Dolan] reveals a historical picture that theorizes the interaction between religion, politics, and gender. For scholars who study other religions and time periods, Dolan’s book usefully demonstrates how and why closely-related religious groups deploy gender to mark difference. For specialists in early modern Christianity, Whores of Babylon provides convincing arguments about why Catholic women and (even more surprisingly) the Catholic couple so fascinated pamphleteers, preachers, playwrights, and polemicists as they promoted a white, Protestant, masculine, English national identity.” — Journal of the American Academy of Religion
“This is an excellent book, one that painstakingly yet engagingly illuminates the bifurcated social and discursive positions of Catholic women in early modern England.” —Albion