“This verse marks that”
This essay grows out of the experience of editing of early modern English texts in a variety of genres. It considers the range of ways in which writers from a religiously alert period made literary use of the Bible, and examines the challenges that this phenomenon represents for their modern editors. The first section explores early modern methods of reading and responding to the Bible, while the second examines instances of the editorial dilemmas which result from biblical presences in sacred and secular works of seventeenth-century literature. Authors whose work is discussed include George Herbert, Eleanor Davies, John Bunyan, William Shakespeare, Anne Wentworth, Oliver Heywood, and the anonymous author of Eliza’s Babes (1652).