The Boy King: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation

The Boy King: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation

by Diarmaid MacCulloch
     
 

The boy king Edward VI, the only surviving son of Henry VIII and the last of the male Tudors, died while still a teenager, his plans for his country's future soon to be overturned by his Roman Catholic half-sister Mary. Yet his reign has a significance in English history out of all proportion to its brief six-year span. In this lavishly illustrated book, Diarmaid

Overview

The boy king Edward VI, the only surviving son of Henry VIII and the last of the male Tudors, died while still a teenager, his plans for his country's future soon to be overturned by his Roman Catholic half-sister Mary. Yet his reign has a significance in English history out of all proportion to its brief six-year span. In this lavishly illustrated book, Diarmaid MacCulloch underlines the significance of Edward's turbulent and neglected reign. He takes a fresh look at the life and beliefs of the young king and of the ruthless politicians who jostled for power around him and analyzes the single-minded strategy for bringing in the Protestant revolution. Although the regime collapsed in apparent failure and disgrace on Edward's death in 1553, the story does not end there; a second half-sister, Elizabeth, succeeded Mary and brought Protestantism back to the official Church, though in a subtly different form. The tensions between her vision of the Church and that of the dead boy king continued to haunt English religion. MacCulloch traces the strange afterlife of Edward's reign, its surprising connections with the civil wars which convulsed the British Isles a century later, and the effect it still has on English life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“MacCulloch's enviable ease in unraveling complex theological and political positions ... makes this a formidable achievement. A dramatic period of English history will never look quite the same again.” —The Independent

“This is Reformation history as it should be written, learned, argumentative, and ... never for a moment dull.” —The London Times

“Award-winning author MacCulloch has written an interesting and informative study...enjoyable and very readable book.” —Library Journal

Library Journal
Award-winning author MacCulloch (Thomas Cranmer: A Life) has written an interesting and informative study of the six years the young Edward VI spent on the throne after the death of his notorious father Henry VIII. Only nine when he came to power in 1547, the young king is often overlooked, sandwiched as he was between his infamous father and two extraordinary sisters, "Bloody" Mary and Elizabeth I. Edward was every bit as intelligent as his sisters, and his religious convictions were as inflexible as those of the formidable Mary. Indeed, the author makes a point of following up any description of atrocities committed in Edward's reign with the information that Mary did worse. The boy king who tried to bypass his sisters and put the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey on the throne in their stead is a worthy subject of this enjoyable and very readable book. The subject, however, is not one of universal interest, recommending this book for academic libraries with collections in the area of English history and the Reformation. Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline P.L., MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312238308
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/28/2001
Edition description:
Palgrave
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.68(d)

Meet the Author

Diarmaid MacCulloch is a prize winning author and Professor at Oxford University.

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