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Gothic RenaissanceA reassessment$
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Elisabeth Bronfen and Beate Neumeier

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088636

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088636.001.0001

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Ghostly authorities and the British popular press

Ghostly authorities and the British popular press

Chapter:
(p.180) 10 Ghostly authorities and the British popular press
Source:
Gothic Renaissance
Author(s):

Andrea Brady

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719088636.003.0011

Andrea Brady analyses the complex implications of the return of supernatural phenomena in mid-seventeenth century pamphlet accounts of ghostly hauntings (about ‘real sightings as well as rhetorical ghosts in political satire’) against a growing ‘widespread scepticism’. She traces this return not only to the persistence of folk tradition but also to a conscious attempt by the Cambridge Platonists Henry More and Joseph Glanville to restore a ‘consensus which was eroding – in divine retribution, in immortal soul, in providence of history, in vision as access to truth’. The defence of ghostly apparitions is identified by Brady as a ‘conservative’ project to ward off ‘the threat [they believed] scepticism posed to church and state’.

Keywords:   Henry More, Joseph Glanville, ghosts, pamphlet press, folk tradition

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