In these vivid and approachable essays Eamon Duffy engages with some of the central aspects of Western religion in the thousand years between the decline of pagan Rome and the rise of the Protestant Reformation. In the process he opens windows on the vibrant and multifaceted beliefs and practices by which medieval people made sense of their world: the fear of death and the impact of devastating pandemic, holy war against Islam and the invention of the blood libel against the Jews, provision for the afterlife and the continuing power of the dead over the living, the meaning of pilgrimage and the evolution of Christian music. Duffy unpicks the stories of the Golden Legend and Yale University's mysterious Voynich manuscript, discusses the cult of 'St' Henry VI and explores childhood in the Middle Ages. Accompanying the book are a collection of full colour plates which further demonstrate the richness of late medieval religion. In this highly readable collection Eamon Duffy once more challenges existing scholarly narratives and sheds new light on the religion of Britain and Europe before and during the Reformation.
As an authority on the religion of medieval and early modern England, Eamon Duffy is preeminent. In his revisionist masterpiece The Stripping of the Altars, Duffy opened up new areas of research and entirely fresh perspectives on the origin and progress of the English Reformation. Duffy's focus has always been on the practices and institutions through which ordinary people lived and experienced their religion, but which the Protestant reformers abolished as idolatry and superstition. The first part of A People's Tragedy examines the two most important of these institutions: the rise and fall of pilgrimage to the cathedral shrines of England, and the destruction of the monasteries under Henry VIII, as exemplified by the dissolution of the ancient Anglo-Saxon monastery of Ely. In the title essay of the volume, Duffy tells the harrowing story of the Elizabethan regime's savage suppression of the last Catholic rebellion against the Reformation, the Rising of the Northern Earls in 1569. In the second half of the book Duffy considers the changing ways in which the Reformation has been thought and written about: the evolution of Catholic portrayals of Martin Luther, from hostile caricature to partial approval; the role of historians of the Reformation in the emergence of English national identity; and the improbable story of the twentieth century revival of Anglican and Catholic pilgrimage to the medieval Marian shrine of Walsingham. Finally, he considers the changing ways in which attitudes to the Reformation have been reflected in fiction, culminating with Hilary Mantel's gripping trilogy on the rise and fall of Henry VIII's political and religious fixer, Thomas Cromwell, and her controversial portrayal of Cromwell's Catholic opponent and victim, Sir Thomas More.
J.A. Froude was one of the finest English literary stylists of the Victorian age. But he was highly critical of Mary Tudor, whose reign he viewed as something of a disaster. Eamon Duffy takes a very different view and so this book will spark off even more controversy about this most maligned of English monarchs.
Great Britain. Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts
A Case Study of Thirty-nine Generations of the Sinch'ŏn Kang Family (720 A.D.-1955)
Author: Hildi Kang
This book presents, amplifies, and breathes life into a sample of Korean lineage records, and as such, seeks to fill the gap in scholarship that lies between simple recognition of the existence of these chokpo and a deeper comprehension of their contents. It erases the mystique surrounding Korean lineage records and makes these records accessible to any English speaking reader. By examining one family line in great detail, readers will be introduced to this unique Korean asset, and the wealth of material hidden in these volumes.