Writing, London, and the Bishops’ Ban of 1599

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This article examines a set of events in London in 1599 that have come to be known as the Bishops’ Ban, when several specific literary works were identified as dangerous and burnt at the behest of the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury. By situating these events within the conditions of censorship, literary production, and urban life at the time, we can not only understand why the Ban occurred, but also begin to explore London’s role in the motives, implementation, and effects of the Ban. Not much has been written about the Ban; still less has been said about London’s significance to it. This paper aims to redress this, to contextualize the Ban — and the creativity it affected — in relation to a specific cultural and geographical location. Were London’s censors censoring an unsettled city’s images of itself?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-119
JournalThe London Journal
Issue number2
Early online date12 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2018


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