This prize-winning account of the pre-Reformation church recreates lay people’s experience of religion, showing that late-medieval Catholicism was neither decadent nor decayed, but a strong and vigorous tradition. For this edition, Duffy has written a new introduction reflecting on recent developments in our understanding of the period.
“A mighty and momentous book: a book to be read and re-read, pondered and revered; a subtle, profound book written with passion and eloquence, and with masterly control.”—J. J. Scarisbrick, The Tablet
“Revisionist history at its most imaginative and exciting. . . . [An] astonishing and magnificent piece of work.”—Edward T. Oakes, Commonweal
“A magnificent scholarly achievement, a compelling read, and not a page too long to defend a thesis which will provoke passionate debate.”—Patricia Morison, Financial Times
“Deeply imaginative, movingly written, and splendidly illustrated.”—Maurice Keen, New York Review of Books
Winner of the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award
Eamon Duffy is a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and the author of The Voices of Morebath,Fires of Faith,Marking the Hours,Saints and Sinners, and Ten Popes Who Shook the World.
"A magnificent scholarly achievement, a compelling read, and not a page too long to defend a thesis which will provoke passionate debate."—Patricia Morison, Financial Times
"Duffy wants to show the vitality and appeal of late medieval Catholicism; and to prove that it exerted a diverse and vigorous hold over the imagination and loyalty of the people up to the very moment of Reformation. He suceeds triumphantly."—Susan Brigden, London Review of Books
"Deeply imaginative, movingly written, and splendidly illustrated."—Maurice Keen, New York Review of Books
"[This book] at last gives the culture of the late Middle Ages in England its due, and helps us to see the period as it was and not as Protestant reformers and their intellectual descendants imagined it to be. . . . A monumental and deeply felt work."—Gabriel Josipovici, Times Literary Supplement
"Sensitively written and beautifully produced, this book represents a major contribution to the Reformation debate."—Norman Tanner, The Times, London
"A mighty and momentous book: a book to be read and re-read, pondered and revered; a subtle, profound book written with passion and eloquence, and with masterly control."—J. J. Scarisbrick, The Tablet
"This book will afford enjoyment and enlightenment to layman and specialist alike. Duffy sweeps the reader along through its six hundred pages by a style which eschews both jargon and pedantry, by his lively and absorbing detail, his piercing insights, patient analysis, and his vigor in debate."—Peter Heath, Times Literary Supplement
"Unfailingly temperate, judicious, and scholarly. . . . [The book] has a fascinating story to tell."—James Bowman, The Sunday Telegraph
"The first serious attempt by a historian to restore Mary's reputation in more than four hundred years."—Simon Denison, The Sunday Telegraph
"Duffy offers an unrivaled picture of late medieval parochial religion, with all its ritual symbolism and visual imagery."—Keith Thomas, The Observer
"Anyone interested in the liturgy and buildings of the church, or in the vivid lay participation in religious life of the later middle ages, will find the book an inspiration, and should read it with the utmost care."—Dorothy M. Owen, Lincolnshire History and Archaeology
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