By Kirilyuk, Andrei P
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Extra resources for 75 Years of Matter Wave: Louis de Broglie and Renaissance of the Causally Complete Knowledge
Medical historians continue to argue over the origin of syphilis. Some say that it was a mutation of an earlier, less virulent, disease, others hold that it was brought from the Americas to Europe by returning sailors and soldiers. Whatever its origin, what is certainly the case is that it spread like wildﬁre throughout Europe, where the population had no resistance to it, and traditional medicine offered neither answers nor a cure. By the beginning of the ﬁfteenth century, death from the pox was seizing the imagination of the public, much as death from HIV-AIDS did in the 1980s.
The Stuarts’ inﬂexible defense of ‘the divine right of kings’ galvanized the opposition from the parliamentary forces which was eventually to prove their downfall, as country split into Royalists and Parliamentarians, each with their own military forces. That conﬂict had both religious and economic dimensions. Parliamentary leaders found allies in Puritan radicals, as Puritan insistence on individual responsibility, and its resistance to Episcopal (let alone Papal) authority, had a corollary in resistance to monarchy; nowhere is this as clear as in the writings of that politician and poet John Milton, who wrote numerous ﬁery tracts defending radical liberty.
That conﬂict among professional historians is a ﬁtting mirror for the conﬂicting energies driving the authors discussed in this volume, and the extremely diverse interpretations of those authors that readers have proposed in the intervening centuries. Just as earlier writers such as Wyatt, Marlowe, Shakespeare and Jonson engaged with political theory, the seventeenth-century writers such as Katherine Philips, John Milton and Andrew Marvell continued to draw on the political debates and divisions of the country to help create 38 The Historical Context of English Renaissance Literature their literature.