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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

(p.180) 10 Ghostly authorities and the British popular press
Gothic Renaissance

Andrea Brady

Manchester University Press

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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