A History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland

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The traditional protestant narrative of British Reformation was that it was beneficial and allowed the nation to throw of the shackles of the superstition that it had been held under by Roman Catholicism.

Yet, was the protestant reformation actually beneficial to countries such as England and Ireland?

Or were some areas and groups of society left to feel greater repercussions than others as this momentous shift took hold?

Although not a catholic, William Cobbett aimed to reassess the impact of the reformation and demonstrate rather than being something supported by the entire population it was in fact an event that caused great distress, tension and even bloodshed.

Cobbett takes aim at many of our preconceived notions of the reformation and thoroughly explains how rather than liberating the people this act “impoverished and degraded the main body of the people.”

Rather than simply focusing on the reign of Henry VIII, Cobbett analyzes the continuing impact that the change to Protestantism had on English and Irish society right through until the early nineteenth century.

This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to find out about a different viewpoint of the Protestant reformation that swept through the British Isles and Ireland nearly five hundred years ago.

William Cobbett was an English pamphleteer, journalist and member of parliament. Although not a Catholic, he became a forceful advocate of Catholic Emancipation in Britain. Cobbett’s revolutionary reassessment of this period was first written in the early nineteenth century and similar arguments have been taken up by historians such as Eamon Duffy and Christopher Haigh. This edition was first published in 1897. Cobbett had passed away in 1835.