In addition to its importance in mainstreaming apocalyptic interpretation in late-Stuart history, Johnston's work is especially helpful in explaining the credibility of the Popish Plot
allegations and the meaning of 1688-89 for contemporaries.
Catherine of Braganza, the Popish Plot
, and Catholic Books
Hinds presents his study as "a self-contained rendering of the Plot," and part of the promise of such a rendering, focusing on the circulation of political information, lies in its potential further to qualify John Kenyon's view of the plot as an expression of "mass hysteria" or "mass hypnotism," "a classic panic" characterized by "paranoiac fear" of Catholics, a political culture of "continual conspiracy," and "popular fury" resulting from "almost total ignorance" of reliable political news (Kenyon, Popish Plot
, 5, 9, 13, 111, 115-16, 202, 272-73.
Also, the extent of the social upheaval caused by the Popish Plot
or the amount of influence the tumultuous climate had on the Particular Baptists of London should not be underestimated.
The authors, father and son, paint the background to all this and describe in detail the hysteria that gripped the country during the Popish Plot
of 1678 and the years following.
Charles II'S response to the Popish Plot
helps to explain why few were eager to block James's succession.
Francis Barlow's A True Narrative of the Horrid Hellish Popish Plot
was produced in 1682, followed by the humorous and often bawdy creations of William Hogarth, such as The Punishments of Lemuel Gulliver (1726).
Although his own sympathies were Protestant and moderately Whig, he stood bail for Baron Arundell, one of the five Catholic peers imprisoned in 1678 during the Popish Plot
scare, when Arundell was finally released in 1684; the surety provided was 5,000 [pounds sterling].
Even remarkable and lurid events such as those in the Popish Plot
are described in drab, matter-of-fact tones, if they are described at all.
Raymond opens with the origins of the form in the popular culture of the sixteenth century, focusing especially on the Marprelate controversy of the 1580s, and closes with the full development of the form and "pamphletization" of culture in the 1680s, using the fierce polemics surrounding the Popish Plot
to punctuate his contention that as the seventeenth century progressed, pamphlets--notwithstanding their diminutive size and suspect reputation--played an increasingly vital role in the generation of public opinion, political conflict, and social policy in England.
The feeling of anxiety and uncertainty characterizing the language and imagery of these versions is not surprising given the threat of civil unrest in the years of the Popish Plot
and the Exclusion Crisis.
2) Third, as the previous suggests, Dryden and Lee's play, while offering no strict allegory, has relevance to contemporary events--the Popish Plot
and the gathering Exclusion Crisis--not least in that, with its added subplot, their version focuses more than others on issues of legitimacy and succession.
STOP PRESS: The latest group to condemn the film - this time as a convoluted Popish plot
- is, surprise, surprise, Ian Paisley's Free Presbyterians.
And Bellabarba makes a strong case for seeing it as the first of a series of highly damaging scandals associating the court with popery and plotting, which continued under James and would culminate disastrously in the Popish Plot
rumors of 1638-41.
There is no real logic to the split and the political instability of the Popish Plot
years is leaned on too heavily as a justification for the latter grouping.