Presenting the text of a notorious Jesuit attack on Queen Elizabeth I’s treatment of her Catholic subjects, this volume highlights the European context of the English Reformation and Robert Persons’s role as propagandist. In De persecutione Anglicana, Robert Persons (1546–1610) graphically describes the conditions in prisons, the harassment of Catholics at home and the gruesome manner of execution for treason. The work culminates in the arrest of the famous Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion, with rapidly revised versions bringing the narrative up to date after Campion’s execution on 1 December 1581. Written in Latin to appeal to readers throughout Europe, it was translated into French, Italian and German, making it arguably the most important Latin martyrological work by an English Catholic of the Elizabethan period. This critical edition comprises the Latin text, English translation and commentary, and a textual history, appending additional material from the revised versions.Persons was actively involved in the drive to restore Roman Catholicism in England, as missionary strategist, controversialist and founder of English colleges abroad. He worked closely with the superior general of the Society of Jesus, Claudio Acquaviva, negotiating with Philip II of Spain, the Duke of Guise, the Duke of Parma and successive popes. Thanks to the growth of early modern British Catholic studies, his prolific and provocative English writings attract increasing scholarly attention, but his Latin texts have often been glossed over.
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