Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sol's Question

Sol asked me "You have once again insprired me to add to my library. I'm just not sure whether to read The Stripping of the Altars first. What do you recommend? "

Now that is an interesting one !

Here is my take on it, but your mileage may well vary, given your profession and the considerable amount of knowledge you already have about the subject.....

I read the hefty but utterly absorbing "Stripping Of The Altars" first, and loved every word. It could possibly have benefited from a slightly more judicious editorial pen, but that is a minor quibble. "Stripping Of The Altars" is thorough and comprehensive, and covers the country, in greater or lesser detail according to the sources still extant about each area. It does give a very good exposition of the thoughts and events underpinning the changes of the period even for someone with no real prior knowledge of the era.

Inspired by this, I bought "The Voices of Morebath" at a knock-down price on EBay. I have to own, reading it immediately after the first tome left me feeling slightly disappointed as some of it was already familiar, having been discussed in the first book as befits one of the most interesting and utterly unique resources amongst Tudor historical documents.

I left it for a good few months before re-reading it, and I am very glad that I did.

I am equally glad I did buy it, for it is an extremely in-depth look at how the whirlwind events of the Reformation affected this tiny English parish and its folk. Having duly absorbed the first book, reading the minutiae about this little village was utterly fascinating!

I do think that unless someone already has a fairly good grasp about the various legislation and events relating to the Henrician and Edwardine Reformation, it may be heavy going or rather tedious and need frequent recourse to a good general history book of the period.

I must admit to liking reading fairly heavyweight scholarly tomes, of course.

But hey, we're Orthodox, we invented scholarly heavyweight tomes, didn't we ?

I would love to know which one you eventually choose, and what you think of it/them. I did get "Stripping" from the local public library, because of its cost, but I fully intend purchasing my own copy when funds permit :-)
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DebD said...

I've had both books on the "to-read". Thanks for a nice recap for both of them.

Mimi said...

Oooh, I would love to read that book, but haven't yet.

Ian said...

Oh, I didn't see this post. I responded on the original. :)