The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

The socio-religious climate of sixteenth century post-Reformation England, despite being during a time often noted as one of the most glorious eras in history, was also one of great change, the country tearing itself apart with warring doctrines. Still a large proportion of the population was Roman Catholic, and whilst the rest of England was beginning to adapt to the idea of Protestantism, the frequent monarchical changes, from the austerely Protestant Edward VI, to the assertively Roman Catholic 'Bloody' Mary and then the more compromising yet no less controversial Elizabeth I, left the country with rather a crisis of identity. Various opposing religious and political groups attempted to restore this identity, some more militantly so than others, but in reality all that occurred was an increase in conflict. England also felt especially threatened at this time, isolated from the Roman Catholic continental powers. Furthermore, although England had had time to become more accustomed to the idea of female rulers, it was still a relatively recent concept that seemed to contradict the writings of Paul held in such high esteem by the evangelical Anglican Church, and therefore with the ascension of Elizabeth I in 1533,...

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