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The Voices of Morebath By Eamon Duffy

The Voices of Morebath
by Eamon Duffy

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In the 50 years between 1530 and 1580, England moved from being a lavishly Catholic country to being a Protestant nation. Exploring Morebath, a remote and tiny sheep-farming village on Exmoor, this work offers a window into a rural world in crisis as the Reformation progressed.
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The Voices of Morebath Summary

The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village by Eamon Duffy

In the fifty years between 1530 and 1580, England moved from being one of the most lavishly Catholic countries in Europe to being a Protestant nation, a land of whitewashed churches and anti-papal preaching. What was the impact of this religious change in the countryside? And how did country people feel about the revolutionary upheavals that transformed their mental and material worlds under Henry VIII and his three children? In this book a reformation historian takes us inside the mind and heart of Morebath, a remote and tiny sheep farming village where thirty-three families worked the difficult land on the southern edge of Exmoor. The bulk of Morebath's conventional archives have long since vanished. But from 1520 to 1574, through nearly all the drama of the English Reformation, Morebath's only priest, Sir Christopher Trychay, kept the parish accounts on behalf of the churchwardens. Opinionated, eccentric, and talkative, Sir Christopher filled these vivid scripts for parish meetings with the names and doings of his parishioners. Through his eyes we catch a rare glimpse of the life and pre-reformation piety of a sixteenth-century English village. The book also offers a unique window into a rural world in crisis as the reformation progressed. Sir Christopher Trychay's accounts provide direct evidence of the motives which drove hitherto law-abiding West-Country communities to participate in the doomed Prayer-Book Rebellion of 1549 - culminating in the siege of Exeter which ended in bloody defeat and a wave of executions. Its church bells confiscated and silenced. Morebath shared in the punishment imposed on all the towns and villages of Devon and Cornwall. Sir Christopher documents the changes in the community: reluctantly Protestant, no longer focused on the religious life of the parish church, and increasingly preoccupied with the secular demands of the Elizabethan state, the equipping of armies, and the payment of taxes. Morebath's priest, garrulous to the end of his days, describes a rural world irrevocably altered, and enables us to hear the voices of his villagers after four hundred years of silence.

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The Voices of Morebath Reviews

"Few other books accomplish such a vivid reconstruction of the past, and Duffy manages tit using the most prosaic documents." Carlos Eire, Commonweal--Carlos Eire "Commonweal ""

About Eamon Duffy

Eamon Duffy is Reader in Church History in the University of Cambridge, and President elect of Magdalene College. His previous books include The Stripping of the Altars, Traditional Religion in England c 1400-c 1570 (0 300 06076 9, 13.95 pb.), and Saints and Sinners, a History of the Popes (0 300 07799 8, 14.95 pb.), both published by Yale University Press.

Additional information

The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village by Eamon Duffy
Eamon Duffy
Used - Very Good
Yale University Press
Winner of Hawthornden Prize 2002 Short-listed for Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2002 Short-listed for British Academy Book Prize 2002
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.