In this book Scott Pilarz explores how the literary legacy of Robert Southwell, kept his voice alive after his hanging in 1595. The Elizabethan establishment viewed Southwell as a subversive, and he has received only scant attention from scholars in the centuries since his death; but Pilarz here restores the Jesuit poet to his rightful position of importance in literature and history, showing how Southwell's works mark the point of convergence of aesthetic, theological, political and personal influences that determined the ethos of the period. Using Southwell's life and work as a vantage point, this study also investigates the tensions of the period, exploring how Southwell's personal and literary popularity attest to lingering anxieties about the Elizabethan settlement. Pilarz points out that Southwell represents a conscientious resistance to the religious establishment and a corrective to myopic views of English Catholicism. He applies newly recovered historical data in a new and more comprehensive analysis of Southwell's poetry and prose.