In a book which brings together language, text and context, Patricia Canning synthesizes models of contemporary stylistics with both critical and literary-historical theory. In doing so, the author maintains a specific and sustained stylistic focus on the religious, political and ideological issues that animated and defined Reformation England. Each chapter interrogates the dichotomous concept of 'word' and 'image' by considering the ways in which writers of this period deal with these contentious subjects in their dramatic and poetic works.'Representation', Canning argues, 'is not just as a matter of semiotics but of ideology'. Whereas stylistics enjoys extensive application in the analysis of contemporary texts, it has, until now, been markedly under-used in the exploration of the historical literary genre. Addressing this shortcoming squarely and robustly, Canning's book is a showcase for the stylistic method. Among its many insights, this book shows how stylistics can enrich our understanding and critical interpretation of a particular literary genre in its ideological and historical context.