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Protestant Country

George Bernard, 14 June 1990

Humanism, Reform and the Reformation: The Career of Bishop John Fisher 
edited by Brendan Bradshaw and Eamon Duffy.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £27.50, January 1989, 0 521 34034 9
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The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation 
by Robert Whiting.
Cambridge, 302 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 521 35606 7
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The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 
by Stanford Lehmberg.
Princeton, 319 pp., £37.30, March 1989, 0 691 05539 4
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Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Weidenfeld, 271 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 297 79343 8
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The Birthpangs of Protestant England: Religious and Cultural Change in the 16th and 17th Centuries 
by Patrick Collinson.
Macmillan, 188 pp., £29.50, February 1989, 0 333 43971 6
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Life’s Preservative against Self-Killing 
by John Sym, edited by Michael MacDonald.
Routledge, 342 pp., £29.95, February 1989, 0 415 00639 2
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Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660 
by Nigel Smith.
Oxford, 396 pp., £40, February 1989, 0 19 812879 7
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... break with Rome. Only one did so outspokenly – and he was rewarded by a martyr’s death. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was executed in June 1535 for refusing (like Thomas More) to take the oath of succession. He was prepared to swear to the succession itself, which he believed that King and nobles were entitled to change, but was unwilling to ...

Try a monastery instead

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Suicide, 17 November 2016

Farewell to the World: A History of Suicide 
by Marzio Barbagli, translated by Lucinda Byatt.
Polity, 407 pp., £19.99, September 2015, 978 0 7456 6245 9
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... was ascribed to Satan. In the first systematic treatise devoted to the topic, published in 1637, John Sym, a Puritan, was still able to attribute suicide to ‘the strong impulse, powerfull motions, and command of the Devill’. But natural causes were increasingly being blamed: melancholy, a dysfunction of the hypochondriac organs, folly, a foul ...

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