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The Age of Reformation: The Tudor and Stewart Realms 1485-1603 (Religion, Politics and Society in Britain) Paperback – 21 May 2009
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"Written with real verve and originality and manages to make well-worn subjects appear fresh and suprising."
Lucy Wooding, Times Higher Education
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"This is a stunningly good book. It deserves to be the first port of call for any students wishing to understand this rich, widely studied and complex period of British history. Ryrie's book is the best survey of English politics and the English Reformation in at least a generation and should go on to command the field for many years to come."
Professor Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews
"Clear-sighted, judicious, based on the most up-to-date scholarship and written with clarity and dry wit, this is the ideal introduction to an age which (impressions gained from television notwithstanding) remains profoundly alien to modern students."
Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, University of Oxford
The sixteenth century was an age of Reformation. There was religious reformation, as Protestantism came to England, Scotland and even Ireland, bringing liberation, chaos and bloodshed in its wake. And there was political reformation, as the Tudor and Stewart (later Stuart) monarchs made their authority felt within and beyond their kingdoms more than any of their predecessors. Together, these two reformations produced not only a new religion, but a new politics absolutist yet pluralist, populist yet law-bound and a new society controlled, fractured, yet more widely engaged and empowered than ever before.
In this book, Alec Ryrie provides an authoritative overview of these momentous events, showing how religion, politics and social change were always intimately interlinked, from the murderous politics of the Tudor court to the building and fragmentation of new religious and social identities in the parishes. Drawing on the most recent research, he explains why events took the course they did and why that course was so often an unexpected and an unlikely one.
Alec Ryrieis Reader in Church History at Durham University. His other books include The Sorcerers Tale (2008), The Origins of the Scottish Reformation (2006), and The Gospel and Henry VIII (2003).
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Top Customer Reviews
The focus of the book is on the politics of religion which dominated the 16th century but it also includes social and cultural aspects and considers the change of focus from separate European kingdoms to a more united 'British' state.
I found the discussion of English Puritanism particularly helpful - especially as it was framed within a comparison of events north of the Border, a vital context lacking in many other works.
There is also a very useful guide to further reading for those who want to know even more. Pleasingly, most of the works listed are of very recent vintage - Dr Ryrie is clearly a man with his finger on the pulse about the latest research.
All in all I would heartily recommend this as a first port of call for anyone new to the subject - whether A-level students, undergraduates or simply those whose interest has been stimulated by 'The Tudors'!
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