The Later Tudors: England 1547-1603 by Penry Williams (Emeritus Fellow, Emeritus Fellow, New College, Oxford)
The Later Tudors tells the story of England between the accession of Edward VI and the death of Elizabeth I. The second half of the sixteenth century was a period of intense conflict between the nations of Europe, and between competing Catholic and Protestant beliefs. These struggles produced acute anxiety in England, but the nation was saved from the disasters that befell her neighbours and, by the end of Elizabeth's reign, had achieved a remarkable sense of political and religious identity. In this masterly and comprehensive study, Penry Williams explains how this process came about. He begins by weaving together the political, religious,and economic history of the nation, setting out the workings and development of the English state. Later chapters establish the broader perspective, with a thorough analysis of English society, family relations, and culture, focusing on the ways in which art and literature were used to uphold - and sometimes to subvert - the social and political order. The final chapter looks to Europe and across the seas at England's part in the shaping of the New World.