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18 May 2017 | by Peter Marshall

Looting of the treasure house


 

Looting of the treasure house

An exhilarating ride through the switchback world of the Reformation

Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation

Peter Marshall
(Yale University Press, 672 PP, £30)
tablet bookshop price £27 • tel 01420 592974

I can hear your groans. Really? Another history of the English Reformation? Don’t we know this story too well already? Perhaps we do. Yet the joy of Peter Marshall’s book is that it makes this most hackneyed of historical epics feel fresh and unexpected.
More so than any historian of the period working today, Marshall is equally sensitive and perceptive in dealing with both Protestants and Catholics. That is just one of the skills he has brought to his daunting task: to provide a narrative history of the English Reformation from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the 1590s. As he holds the many strands of his material together over 650-plus pages, he quietly weaves in some very sharp historical analysis, but at heart he is telling a story.





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