Theory: Recourse

David Bolter and other historians of writing have pointed out, for example, that initially writing, which served priestly and monarchical interests in recording laws and records, appeared purely elitist, even hieratic; later, as the practice diffused down the social and economic scale, it appeared democratizing, even anarchic. Similarly, as Chartier and Marie-Elizabeth Ducreux have shown, both printed matter and manuscript books functioned as instruments of ́religious acculturation controlled by authority, but under certain circumstances also supported resistance to a faith rejected, and proved an ultimate and secret recourse against forced conversion.î Book of hours, marriage charters, and so-called evangelical books all embodied a ́basic tension between public, ceremonial, and ecclesiastical use of the book or other print object, and personal, private, and internalized readingî (Landow 29-30).