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Briefly Noted

A Field Guide to the English Clergy:  A Compendium of Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; All Anglican, Some Even Practising by fergus butler-gallie oneworld, 192 pages, $20 Ah, the holy fool. Though we often associate such characters with the great tomes of Russian . . . . Continue Reading »

The Monster's Servant

Thomas Cromwell:  A Revolutionary Life by diarmaid macculloch viking, 752 pages, $40 They said it could not be done. At least Sir Geoffrey Elton, to whose memory his former doctoral student has dedicated this book, said it could not be done. According to him, as Diarmaid MacCulloch reminds us, . . . . Continue Reading »

Latimer and Ridley Are Forgotten

Hidden in the northern suburbs of Oxford are the last traces of a path first trodden by multitudes of country folk hurrying to see the burning of the Protestant martyrs Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley on October 16, 1555, and trudging home afterward. For some years I lived very close to this track, . . . . Continue Reading »

A Church that Was

Yes, I remember the Church of England, much more than a name, a living thing. As it happens, my own religiously confused family was not churchgoing. By the early 1950s, most of the respectable English middle class had ceased to be especially religious, though they continued to respect faith. Church . . . . Continue Reading »

Aristocrats at Bay

The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracyby David CannadineYale University Press, 813 pages, $39.95 As might be expected of a book whose title echoes Gibbon’s magnum opus, David Cannadine’s history of the British aristocracy since 1875 is long, exhaustive, wide-ranging, and anecdotally . . . . Continue Reading »

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