Thomas Cranmer: A Life

Diarmaid MacCulloch

Published by Yale University Press, 1996
ISBN 10: 0300066880 / ISBN 13: 9780300066883
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Synopsis: Thomas Cranmer was the architect of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. He was the Archbishop who guided England through the early Reformation, and Henry VIII through the minefields of divorce. Diarmaid MacCulloch traces Cranmer from his East-Midland roots to early Tudor Cambridge, into the household of the family of Anne Boleyn, and through the political labyrinth of the Henrican court. By then a major English statesman, living the life of a mediaeval prince-bishop, Cranmer navigated the church through the king's vacillations and finalized two successive English Prayer Books. MacCulloch reconstructs the crises which Cranmer negotiated, from his compromising association with three of Henry's divorces, the plot by religious conservatives to oust him, his role in the attempt to establish Lady Jane Grey as Queen, to the vengeance of the Catholic Mary Tudor. In gaol after Mary's accession, Cranmer nearly succumbed to recant his life's achievements, but was able to turn the very day of his death at the stake into a dramatic demonstration of his Protestant faith. From this account, Cranmer emerges as a sharply-focussed figure, more conservative early in his career than admirers have allowed, more evangelical than Anglicanism would later find comfortable. His legacy is his contribution to the shape and structure of English speech and, through his Prayer Book, to the moulding of an international language and the theology it expressed.

Review: Don't go confusing your Thomas Cranmer with your Thomas More; now there is a Tudor faux-pas if ever there was one. Cranmer made the divorce happen, More lost his head over it. Cranmer wrote the Book of Common Prayer, More was the author of Utopia. And it was More who was canonized a saint, while Cranmer was executed by "Bloody" Mary Tudor for his fiendish plotting on behalf of Lady Jane Grey as well as for his embracing an evangelical brand of Protestantism the Catholic queen found wholly disagreeable. In this highly readable biography, we get the first new treatment of Cranmer in three decades, bolstered by recent scholarship and new sources. Think this stuff is remote? Cranmer, as Archbishop of Canterbury, crafted two editions of the English Book of Common Prayer. The success of this book had an enormous impact on the English language, loading terms with meaning and influencing the rhetoric of power for the next two centuries.

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Title: Thomas Cranmer: A Life
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Yale U P, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+. 1st edition. Size: xii, 692pp. Illustrated. With dustwrapper. Binding tight, text unmarked. Bookseller Inventory # GG1263

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Book Description Yale UP, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. ~Franciscan library marks, otherwise fine. Size: xii, 692pp. Many illus. Binding tight, text unmarked. Bookseller Inventory # HH3639

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