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Political Storytelling and Propaganda: William Prynne and the English Afterlife of Tommaso Campanella

Citation: Manns, Andrew (2019) Political Storytelling and Propaganda: William Prynne and the English Afterlife of Tommaso Campanella. Doctoral thesis, University of London.

Andrew Manns-Warburg-PhD Thesis.pdf

Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Although there has been extensive scholarship on the pamphleteering practices and political activities of the dissident moralist and lawyer William Prynne, scant material exists on the narrative mechanism underlying Prynne’s persuasive storytelling. This dissertation argues that Prynne was the source of the literary archetype concerning the ‘Jesuit’ Tommaso Campanella diffused during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The ideas of the Italian Dominican Campanella (1568-1639) had a certain impact on the philosophical, theological and political panorama of early modern England. The study of this impact is an area that is still largely unexplored. Using Prynne’s apocryphal Campanella as an interpretative lens, my dissertation compares and analyses the anti-Catholic myths elaborated by Prynne and proposes that he devised a fictional Campanella in tandem with his exposition of the fictitious plots of Adam Contzen, Cardinal Armand Richelieu, and Robert Parsons. In doing so, it specifically postulates the existence of a narrative continuity in the way in which Prynne articulated his conspiratorial political tales and charts their evolution. Overall, it posits and shows how these figures and their associated plots emerged consecutively out of Prynne’s reactionary propagandistic efforts against what he believed were two ideological mentalities: on the one hand, the Arminianism of the English prelature, on the other, the allegedly insurrectionary and sectarian Jesuitism of the New Model Army, the radical Independents party, the anti-royalist proponents of the Good Old Cause, and the Quakers.

Creators: Manns, Andrew and
Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Divisions: Warburg Institute
Collections: Theses and Dissertations
  • 1 March 2019 (completed)


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