Cats in Early Modern Period Literature – Beware the Cat 1570

Perhaps not so surprising, the first novel written in English is entitled Beware the Cat by William Baldwin (1515-1563), and includes cats as the main characters. What dog could live up to this claim to fame? First published in 1570, during the Reformation, and set in Ireland, it is a satire on Catholicism; an attack […]


  Shadowing the great rebirth of the Renaissance was the Reformation.  When in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, a reform movement sprang up, Protestantism. Cats, somehow representative of Catholicism, and always victims of man’s abuse, became a key symbol for English reformist protests. Often […]

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