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'Nonsence is rebellion?': John Taylor's Nonsence upon Sence, or Sence, upon Nonsence (1651-1654) and the English Civil War

Cock, Emily 2015. 'Nonsence is rebellion?': John Taylor's Nonsence upon Sence, or Sence, upon Nonsence (1651-1654) and the English Civil War. Ceræ: An Australasian Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 2

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Abstract

This article examines the political content of John Taylor’s Nonsence upon Sence, or Sence, upon Nonsence: Chuse you either, or neither (1651–1654), challenging the customary dismissal of this poem as light‑hearted nonsense verse. Taylor was a staunch Royalist who had openly criticised the divisions of the English Civil War and the proliferation of religious separatists. I argue that Nonsence continues this project under a mask of playful ambiguity. The literary disorder created in this text, which Taylor calls ‘nonsence’, is made to mirror the social, religious and political fragmentation of post-war London, as sentences and words are broken down and rearranged in unfamiliar and disturbing ways. The article serves not only as a stylistic assessment of Taylor’s political satire, but also to historicise his engagement with nonsense and place within that literary tradition.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: University of Western Australia
ISSN: 2204-146X
Funders: Bill Cowan Fellowship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 November 2017
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2019 14:33
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/105615

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