the Netherlands, or liberal Quakers in England. All had roots in the so-called Radical Reformation of the sixteenth century where emphasis was laid upon the 'inner light' and the dictates of individual conscience. All downplayed the authority of the clergy and tended to be liberal in doctrinal matters. Being a publisher of the bawdy did not have to mean that you endorsed it as a way of life. Business can sometimes just be business, and finding a home among Quakers or Mennonites might be a solution to a troubled religious quest.
To become a seeker given to heterodoxy required first a deeply personal anger. Persecution under the policies of Louis XIV, Charles II, and James II in England - aided and abetted by their loyal clergies - put rage on the Protestant agenda. At the very least their policies made you suspicious, 'their religion is one Grand Monarchy'.7 Jesuits, scholastics, the Machiavellian leadership of the established churches, were seen to be doingto Protestants what had been done to the Jews.8 The only hope was to appeal to the court of'public opinion', a term being invented in the 1680s as much out of necessity as out of the leisure and relative affluence that undergird the new sociability.9 First writers tried preaching piety and humility at the 'les Grands'.10 Then they lampooned the Catholic clergy and did so in ways that sold books.11 They courted the public with mockery and satire to cut the great down to size; that seemed to have little effect on the actual political situation. They said that Louis XIV 'is a true son of the Church. The Cardinal is one of his parents.'12 Then more sombre critics began to wonder, might not the problem be more systemic, lying deep in the European consciousness?
At the same time as the doubts surfaced about the tendency to persecute at the heart of European life, a new travel literature had begun to appear. Perhaps the imagination it unlocked suggested new systems of social or political organization. For some seekers the only place to go lay in the imagination as stimulated by tales from exotic lands. Almost simultaneously, Europeans were discovering two new worlds: one in the heavens as detailed by Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton; the other on the earth recounted by merchants, slave traders, and missionaries. They generally treated the distant as exotic, inferior, and certainly odd. But in the travel literature the discontented in Europe found another way to imagine their world by invoking an imaginary new one. All the androgynous Australians were born with two sexes inside them, and the word 'father' is unknown to them. Hence mothers and children cannot be subordinated to fathers, and 'the great empire that the man has usurped over the woman, has been rather the effect of an odious tyranny and not a legitimate authority'.13 Once tyranny comes under attack, its definition could,
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