God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

Hardback

By (author) Jessie Childs

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  • Publisher: The Bodley Head Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 236mm x 52mm | 920g
  • Publication date: 3 June 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1847921566
  • ISBN 13: 9781847921567
  • Illustrations note: 16
  • Sales rank: 61,577

Product description

This book was awarded as a Guardian Best Book of the Year 2014. It is longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. The Catholics of Elizabethan England did not witness a golden age. Their Mass was banned, their priests were outlawed, their faith was criminalised. In an age of assassination and Armada, those Catholics who clung to their faith were increasingly seen as the enemy within. In this superb history, award-winning author Jessie Childs explores the Catholic predicament in Elizabethan England through the eyes of one remarkable family: the Vauxes of Harrowden Hall. God's Traitors is a tale of dawn raids and daring escapes, stately homes and torture chambers, ciphers, secrets and lies. From clandestine chapels and side-street inns to exile communities and the corridors of power, it exposes the tensions and insecurities masked by the cult of Gloriana. Above all, it is a timely story of courage and frailty, repression and reaction and the terrible consequences when religion and politics collide.

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Author information

Jessie Childs won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography with her first book Henry VIII's Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. She has written and reviewed for several newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Literary Review. She took a First in History from the University of Oxford and lives in London with her husband and two daughters. This is her second book. www.jessiechilds.com @childs_jessie

Review quote

"A triumph of story-telling, backed by first-rate research" -- Antonia Fraser "A riveting account of resistance in an age of intolerance" -- Leanda de Lisle "Vivid but measured...never has the actual experience of the recusants been rendered with such a wealth of searing detail...richly packed, absorbing... It is a parade of extraordinary characters and a banquet of Elizabethan and Jacobean prose" -- Simon Callow Guardian (Book of the Week) "God's Traitors, with its crisp prose and punctilious scholarship, brilliantly recreates a world of heroism and holiness in Tudor England... It is little short of a triumph" -- Ian Thomson Financial Times "Absorbing history...inspired... Childs writes with a breezy, engaging style, of a period of history too often clogged by breathy romance or earnest sanctimony. She treats both Catholic and anti-Catholic bias with the proper circumspection; refreshingly, when she is speculating, she says so... God's Traitors is scholarly, absorbing, even-handed and relevant" -- Ben MacIntyre The Times Book of the Week "Truly excellent... God's Traitors crosses the divide between popular and academic history. It raises issues of some real historical importance" -- Michael Questier Spectator "In the quality of her research and sensitive handling of issues that remain raw to this day, Jessie Childs succeeds in evoking 'the lived experience of anti-Catholicism' as few have done before... Childs's language is lively and inventive... By picturing Elizabethan recusants in all their complexity, Jessie Childs has enabled them to speak for themselves at last" -- John Cooper Literary Review "This vivid, minutely researched and brilliantly original history is a much-needed look at the dark side of the Elizabethan age" -- Dan Jones Sunday Times "Superb and groundbreaking... It isn't possible in the space of a review to do justice to the breadth and depth of Childs' research and insight; but they illuminate the entire landscape of English life...a superlative, flawlessly written book... Childs' description of an exorcism at Lord Vaux's house in Hackney...is one of the most extraordinary things I have ever read" -- Matthew Lyons, author of The Favourite "Excellent... An engaging history of English papists, filled with memorable episodes" The Economist "In considering the fundamentalisms of today, it's as well not to forget our own gruesome and intolerant past, and Childs has employed her impressive research skills and storytelling verve to bring that past vividly to life" -- Virginia Rounding Daily Telegraph (five stars) "Plots and priest holes abound" -- Caroline Sanderson Bookseller