While marginalia perpetuated pedagogical and intellectual
traditions, they also allowed readers to express their feelings and record literary critiques.
Such criticism was not expressed in the same way throughout the period. It conformed to the stylistic norms of the time in which it was written, even if only to toy with them. In the mid-17th century, the development of the periodical press and the role of pamphlets in political and religious conflicts gave readers new ways of expression. Many annotations were made on books about French Jesuit and Jansenite issues, as well as on English political and religious booklets. They highlight how readers used and subverted familiar typographical forms such as titles, mottoes and indexes to critique the work.
This work is part of a violent conflict between Protestants and Catholics waged via booklet. In this index, the reader highlights a number of arguments developed by the author in favour of Catholics.
Josua 6.22. Rahabs assistance. [page] 18 : The author compares Catholics who have joined the Royal English troops to the prostitute Rahab who hides Joshua's spies during the seige of Jericho.
Mr White : sonne of Da. [page] 62 : Thomas Albius, named the “son of Darkness” in the text, is a Catholic author condemned by Rome and yet used by the Protestants against the Catholics, which Palmer considers as proof of their bad faith.
ye blowing up ye Thames. [page] 64 : The author denies the rumour accusing the Catholics of plotting to flood London using the Thames.
[page] 69. 14 at one time Papists executed. in Q E R vid. Stow : A quote from the ancient chronicler John Stow describing the violent death of fourteen Catholics who were condemned because of their faith.
The index is followed by a memento on the canonical impediments of marriage.