Cathedrals under Siege. Lehmberg, Stanford E. (9780859894678). Hardback.

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'Cathedrals under Siege' is the story of our greatest churches during the seventeenth century - the most perilous episode in their history. During the Civil War and Commonwealth, they were attacked, desecrated and abolished as institutions, just managing to survive to be restored with Charles II in 1660. This book reviews these great events along with the quieter periods in the early and later parts of the centuries. It examines all aspects of cathedral history - buildings, clergy, finances, music and literature - breaking new ground in the first ever study of cathedrals in this important century.

Stanford Lehmberg is Professor of History in the University of Minnesota, USA, and one of the most eminent American historians of British history. His numerous books include biographies of leading Tudor Englishmen and the fundamental study of English cathedrals during the Reformation period: The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 (Princeton, 1988)

A very solid achievement of excellent scholarship - massive, extensive, even relentless ... [Lehmberg] has searched out archival evidence all over the realm and bases his conclusions on a thorough, personal inspection of the cathedrals of England… The story is beautifully told and proves fascinating.

Geoffrey Elton


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