50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving account of a Reformation village.
An instructive and at times deeply moving account of the effects of the Tudor Reformation on village life. Although the first half of the book may seem a little tedious in its introduction to the village, people and institutions of Morebath, it is ultimately necessary in understanding the remainder which moves historically through the Reformation period. The book gives...
Published on 4 Jan 2002
26 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into the turmoil of the Tudor church
This book is fascinating, not least because we learn as much about Duffy's views as Sir Christopher Trychay's! He is not sympathetic to what the English reformers were trying to do, but he does at least concede that in the end, Sir Christopher's use of the Homilies and of the Book of CommonPrayer might have changed his views.
If you have read this book, I would...
Published on 2 Jan 2002 by Dr. R. G. Henderson
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving account of a Reformation village.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (Hardcover)An instructive and at times deeply moving account of the effects of the Tudor Reformation on village life. Although the first half of the book may seem a little tedious in its introduction to the village, people and institutions of Morebath, it is ultimately necessary in understanding the remainder which moves historically through the Reformation period. The book gives a detailed insight into how bewildering it must have been for a conservative rural village to undergo the changes from Catholic to Protestant, back to Catholic under Queen Mary and finally to Protestant again under Elizabeth.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buried between the site of the altar where he had sung the Mass, and the table where he had celebrated the Supper.,
This review is from: The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (Paperback)Thus ended the career of the parish priest of Morebath, there was he buried, between two religions, two social worlds, two distinct weltanschuung. Taken from his parish register, which gives full details of accounts with a full and interesting commentary by him ,Christopher Trychay, who served the parish from 1520 - 1574, this book gives an interesting account of the minutiae of parish life throughout the events of the 16th century.
I wonder whether it is possible to write of the Reformation without one's own loyalties being obvious, indeed other reviewers have clearly revealed their own, but Professor Duffy , himself a Catholic, certainly writes not only with considerable affection for the pre-Reformation world but also with some appreciation for the Elizabethan one which came to supplant it in England.
Many of us do not believe ,unlike our ancestors were led to believe by their historians -indeed Haigh when he first studied the opposition to the Reformation came to the conclusion that what he had been taught at school about its popularity was erroneous -that the Reformation was welcomed by the people of England, and have been puzzled as to how they accepted such a revolution. Looked at from the centre the answer is perhaps the power and luck of Queen Elizabeth and the relentless persecution , well detailed by Philip Hughes' "The Reformation in England Vol III True Religion Now Established " , of her Catholic subjects, but the localities have been more problematic, although even there as in the time of Thomas Cromwell it could be said that careless talk costs lives.(p 167). Duffy shows how gradually, after limited destruction under Henry VIII and massive destruction under Edward VI, restoration under Mary, and further destruction under Elizabeth, the Old Religion in Morebath gave way. Their parish priest stayed with them, no longer using the requiem vestments for which in his early days so much parish money had been saved, and obediently adopting the new ways. He "eased them into a slow and settled conformity to the new order of things"(p190).Under Mary he probably had looked back on the the Reformation as being "arrogant, destructive, and un-English, a disastrous rebellion against God and the faith of our fathers" but when it triumphed again he adapted to the change. He saw his duty as being to God and Morebath.
No doubt like many others, I was given this book as a Christmas gift, and was delighted to have such a readable, scholarly, and beautifully illustrated addition to my library.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why DID we all go protestant?,
This review is from: The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (Hardcover)The long awaited sequel and parallel text to The Stripping of the Altars - an intimate examination of the Reformation in a single Devon parish.
Duffy explores the period 1530-1580 through the churchwardens accounts, minute books, journals and bequests of the remote Devon village of Morebath. If you've already read his "The Stripping of the Altars", this book is like a detective story, trying to answer a single, biting question: if the Reformation in England was so unpopular with the common people, why did it succeed? He comes up with what looks like it might be the answer.
The opening chapters may be heavy going if you haven't already read "The Stripping of the Altars".
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for visiting Morebath - Please drive carefully,
This review is from: The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (Paperback)Eamon Duffy brings the village of Morebath in the sixteenth century to life with this excellent piece of research. Using original churchwarden's records and relevant historiography, he reconstructs the life of a community as it's belief system comes increasingly under threat. Duffy's work not only gives us a glipmse into the past, but also shows us the historian's craft in action. So Duffy may become a little wrapped up in his subject matter - his enthusiasm shines out of his work and adds to its appeal, in this case anyway. His love of the period is obvious and is infectious, and he reconstructs the minutiae of village life with gusto, to the point where you too may be sucked into the world of Morebath under the Tudors. No bad thing. It happened to me and I for one was sorry to leave.
This is very much a companion volume to "The Stripping of the Altars", the earlier work grand in scope, while "The Voices of Morebath" focusses on one community and narrows that scope, bringing it under the microscope and revealing it with skill and crystal clarity. Anyone with anything more than a passing interest in early modern history should have this book. What the hell... everyone else should have it too.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars empathetic history,
This review is from: The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (Paperback)eamon duffy, through his intricate study of sir christopher's (morebath's parish preist's)written acounts of parish life, presents a deliciously partisan and empathetic tale of one man's struggle to fathom the enormity of religious reform in the sixteenth century. a glimpse into the probable reaction of ordinary devon folk to attempts to confiscate church property. duffy shows how the church property belonged to everyone in the parish having been purchased through generous contrbutions to the numerous well-supported parish guilds.
whether morebath is typical of other tudor villages becomes irrelevant as duffy's tooth comb study of sir christopher's acounts reveals priceless, previously-unnoticed details. For instance Duffy's revealation that the small hamlet sent two of it's own to represent them in the 1549 rebellion against the newly imposed prayer book adds creedance to the corner that claims that this rising had predominantly religious motives. on a personal level it sheds light on the desperation of towns like morebath who armed and funded the 6,000 ill fated prayer book rebels.
a fantastic read for historians and non-historians alike. a must for anyone intreged by the english reformation. the centrality of the parish in secular life is portrayed remarkably in this very readable study.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing,
Generally, the histories written of the English Reformation and counter-Reformation have taken a national perspective. This book, however, is an account of how decisions made and policies adopted by members of the Tudor dynasty and its various executives, culturally and geographically remote from a small Devonshire village, so profoundly affected the life of that village and how, with remarkable pragmatism, its equally remarkable priest guided his flock through the upheavals of the iconoclasm and head-spinning changes in liturgical orthodoxy accompanying this turbulent period.
Little of the outside world directly penetrates this small society absorbed with just "getting by" on the upland fringes of Exmoor - Father Trychay tries to shield his flock but there is the occasional rude intrusion; Dean Heynes - one of Thomas Cromwell's creatures, a real piece of work and a sort of 16th century Senator Joseph McCarthy - and the imposition of the 1549 Prayer Book creating fury sufficient for this small village to send men to Exeter, some of whom were accounted in the 4,000 lost in the ill-fated Prayer Book Rebellion of that year.
Professor Duffy provides a seemingly balanced story (an achievement in itself given the polemical nature of the subject) drawn from Christopher Trychay's entries in the parish records. The author puts flesh on the bones of what otherwise might be a detached history to create real people living at the close of a long-established and conservative era, their communal confidence having been shaken and facing an uncertain future. It is difficult not to personally identify with these simple parishioners.
"The Voices of Morebath" could be regarded as a (long!) chapter from Duffy's excellent "The Stripping of the Altars" but it is not necessary to read these works with any conjunction.
"The Voices" is a remarkable book - the value of which in no sense is diminished by the author's occasional lapses of historical objectivity - and a fascinating, unusually well-written account.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Voices of Morebath,
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulous record keeping,
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth the trouble.,
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The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village by Eamon Duffy (Paperback - 4 Mar 2003)