No period in British history has more resonance and mystery today than the sixteenth century. New Worlds, Lost Worlds brings the atmosphere and events of this great epoch to life. Exploring the underlying religious motivations for the savage violence and turbulence of the period-from Henry VIII's break with Rome to the overwhelming threat of the Spanish Armada-Susan Brigden investigates the actions and influences of such near-mythical figures as Elizabeth I, Thomas More, Bloody Mary, and Sir Walter Raleigh. Authoritative and accessible, New Worlds, Lost Worlds, the latest in the Penguin History of Britain series, provides a superb introduction to one of the most important, compelling, and intriguing periods in the history of the Western world.
This is a splendid piece of scholarship that engages the reader's imagination; Brigden's (history, Lincoln Coll., Oxford) extensive research has paid off in spades. While readers may find themselves running to the OED to check words and concepts long forgotten, the chase is worth it. The title hints at the lost worlds of this dramatic era in Britain, beginning with the early years of Henry VII and carrying forward through the fascinating dynastic and religious struggles of Henry VIII; Mary, Queen of Scots; and Elizabeth I. The book covers not only England but Ireland, Scotland, and Wales as well, and scholars of this period will come away with refreshing insights into this remarkable period. General readers will be equally delighted because the writing is so fluid and accessible. The chapter on social life and customs, "Family and Friends," could stand alone as a single book on Tudor times. Highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries. Gail Benjafield, St. Catharines P.L., Ont. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.