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This major new study is an exploration of the Elizabethan Puritan movement through the eyes of its most determined and relentless opponent, Richard Bancroft, later Archbishop of Canterbury. It analyses his obsession with the perceived threat to the stability of the church and state presented by the advocates of radical presbyterian reform. The book forensically examines Bancroft's polemical tracts and archive of documents and letters, casting important new light on religious politics and culture. Focussing on the ways in which anti-Puritanism interacted with Puritanism, it also illuminates the process by which religious identities were forged in the early modern era. The final book of Patrick Collinson, the pre-eminent historian of sixteenth-century England, this is the culmination of a lifetime of seminal work on the English Reformation and its ramifications.
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About the Author
Patrick Collinson CBE (1929–2011) was Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge (1988–96) and a Fellow of Trinity College and the British Academy. The leading historian of sixteenth-century religion and politics of his generation, he was the author of many important books, notably The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (1967), The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society, 1559–1625 (1982) and The Birthpangs of Protestant England (1988). He also published several collections of his essays, including Godly People (1983), Elizabethan Essays (1994), From Cranmer to Sancroft (2006) and This England (2011).