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The Last Office: 1539 and the Dissolution of a Monastery Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753825759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753825754
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Geoffrey Moorhouse is always a delight to read (INDEPENDENT)

Erudite and highly readable (HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER)

His [Moorhouse's] orginal and absorbing study of this period of transition for Durham is a tour de force. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Book Description

Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, through the never-before-told story of how one priory was saved and become Durham's mighty cathedral

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Tudor England interests me only because it is the backdrop for Stuart England. Trawling through text books for hints at events that might influence the seventeenth century mind-set can be dull indeed. Not so with this book. I don't want to give too much away by telling you what interested me the most but I will say this thorough investigation about how the religious industry worked and how it was dismantled; not only physically but also morally, left me aghast at the almost Machiavellian (insert Cromwellian if you like) destruction of a religious way of life. This, written in a style that is so easily read and comprehended and almost at the pace of a page turner novel, is a wonderful way to understand the foundations of British protestantism.
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Format: Paperback
This is the story of the monks of Durham Priory & their fate when Henry VIII split with Rome over his divorce from Catherine of Aragon & created the Church of England. The Dissolution of the Monasteries was a complete break with religious life as it had been lived for hundreds of years. Henry & his chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, were eager to get their hands on the riches of the Church & to have complete control on the religious life of the nation. Small monasteries & nunneries were broken up & the monks & nuns pensioned off or sent to other houses. Gradually it was time for the larger priories such as Durham to be transformed from Catholic communities into Anglican cathedrals with priests rather than monks. Moorhouse describes the life of the Priory before the Dissolution & how the Bishop of Durham & the Prior guided the monks in their care towards an accommodation with the new order.
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Format: Paperback
We visited Durham Cathedral last Summer and I noticed this book in the cathedral bookshop. I am also generally interested in the Reformation in Europe and this book was one I had planned to buy for some time. I found it to be one of the best history books I have ever read. The author cleverly interweaves the general development of the Reformation in this country with specific detail of life and events unfolding in Durham. It is a fascinating tale, superbly told. I also found the footnotes very helpful and not at all an interruption to the narrative because they add welcome additional information.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a fascinating and detailed account of the last office said in Durham cathedral before the ravages of the monasteries began in earnest guided by Thomas Cromwell. The characters in this well written history are wonderfully drawn;the machinations of those pursuing the dictates of Cromwell are matched by those desperately holding on to what they have loved and known for almost a lifetime and had existed for centuries.
For anyone knowing and loving Durham cathedral and fascinated by this period of history, this is an excellent book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very good book. Moorhouse does focus on the Benedictines of Durham Priory but the first two thirds of the book is a long background preamble about the dissolution of the monasteries. Nevertheless there is a lot of fascinating detail and it was interesting to find out what did actually become of the monks after their monastery was dissolved.
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