This study examines the role of anti-Catholic rhetoric in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England. This role was long neglected, being at once obvious and distasteful, a reproach to the heirs of the Enlightenment who prided themselves on their tolerance and did not want to confront its origins in intolerance. Raymond Tumbleson discusses how the fear of Popery, a potentially destabilising force under the Stuarts, ultimately became a principal guarantor of the Hanoverian oligarchy. The range of authors discussed runs from Middleton, Milton and Marvell to Swift, Defoe and Fielding, as well as numerous pamphleteers. Crossing traditional generic, disciplinary and chronological boundaries, this book examines hitherto neglected relationships between poetry and prose, literature and polemic, the Reformation and the Augustan age.