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The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Villageby Eamon Duffy
Synopses & Reviews
This delightful book offers a rare glimpse of life in a remote sixteenth-century English village during the dramatic changes of the Reformation. Through vividly detailed parish records kept from 1520 to 1574 by Sir Christopher Trychay, the garrulous priest of Morebath, we see how a tiny Catholic community rebelled, was punished, and reluctantly accepted Protestantism under the demands of the Elizabethan state.
"Historians of the Reformation have usually focused on figures like Luther, Calvin, and Henry VIII. Eamon Duffy, reader in church history at the University of Cambridge, has elected instead to study this process of epic change at the local level, examining in rich detail the Reformation as it transformed life in Morebath, a small village in Devon in southwestern England. The shift from the 'lavishly Catholic' England before Henry's break with Rome in the 1520's to the robustly Protestant nation of Elizabethan times is chronicled in the opinionated accounts of Morebath's parish priest, Sir Christopher Trychay. The process of resistance, rebellion, punishment, and gradual—and reluctant— accommodation is detailed by both Trychay and Duffy. It is a fascinating story, the likes of which are seldom available to the historian, much less the general reader. Motives are examined, the social and economic lineaments of Morebath are laid bare, and the reader is presented with a lively picture of a society in the throes of change. The Voices of Morebath will fascinate historians who already find the period exciting. Those who have considered themselves immune to the charms of Clio may be in for a pleasant surprise. This book deserves a wide readership." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
In the 50 years between 1530 and 1580, England moved from being a lavishly Catholic country to a Protestant nation. Exploring Morebath, a remote and tiny sheep-farming village on the edge of Exmoor, this work offers a window into a rural world in crisis as the Reformation progressed.
- Winner of the Hawthornden Prize for Literature
This delightful book offers a rare glimpse of life in a remote sixteenth-century English village during the dramatic changes of the Reformation.
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