The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662

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Overview


The words of the Book of Common Prayer have permeated deep into the life and literature of the English-speaking world. For nearly five hundred years, and for countless people, it has provided a background fanfare for a marriage or a funeral march at a burial. Yet this familiarity hides a violent and controversial history. When it was first produced, the Book of Common Prayer provoked riots among Catholics, and 4,000 died in a rebellion in Devon and Cornwall to oppose it. In the civil wars of the seventeenth ...
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The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662

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Overview


The words of the Book of Common Prayer have permeated deep into the life and literature of the English-speaking world. For nearly five hundred years, and for countless people, it has provided a background fanfare for a marriage or a funeral march at a burial. Yet this familiarity hides a violent and controversial history. When it was first produced, the Book of Common Prayer provoked riots among Catholics, and 4,000 died in a rebellion in Devon and Cornwall to oppose it. In the civil wars of the seventeenth century, it was banned by radical puritans, who believed it encouraged superstition and idolatry, and it caused riots all over Scotland. Conversely, with the spread of the British Empire, it was translated into a host of global languages and adopted as the basis for forms of worship in the United States and elsewhere.

This edition presents the work in three different states: the first edition of 1549, which brought the Reformation into people's homes; the Elizabethan prayer book of 1559, familiar to Shakespeare and Milton; and the edition of 1662, which embodies the religious temper of the nation down to modern times. All texts are freshly edited from original copies, preserving much of their original appearance, orthography, and punctuation. The Introduction explains the historical significance of the book and the controversial process by which it was put together and revised, the changes to the text from the Reformation to the Restoration of Charles II and the 1662 version, and the significance of the book for everyday life and for the history of the English language and its literature. The book includes a glossary, extensive notes, and two appendices.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[I]f this edition makes the prayer book texts available to—and appreciated by—more general readers, it will have served its admirable purpose." — Catholic Historical Review

"Magnificent edition" —Diarmaid MacCulloch, London Review of Books

"Superb edition...excellent notes and introduction" —Rowan Williams, Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199207176
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Pages: 896
  • Sales rank: 702,477
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Cummings is Professor of English at the University of Sussex and was founding Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies from 2004-8. He is the author of The Literary Culture of the Reformation: Grammar and Grace (a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year in 2003).

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Table of Contents

Introduction Note on the Texts Note on Music Select Bibliography Biblical Abbreviations THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, 1549
THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, 1559
THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, 1662
Appendix A: The Black Rubric, 1552
Appendix B: Additional Orders of Service, Articles, and Tables 1662-85
Explanatory Notes Glossary Index of Services and Orders

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Great for research

    This is a UK-only OWC edition, which B&N imports to the USA from a third-party seller. There is no indication of this on the B&N web site. Expect shipping to take longer than a normal book, and to come from a third party. Kudos to B&N for making this book available in the USA.

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