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The Book of Common Prayer, 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book [Hardcover]

By Judith D. Maltby (Introduction by) & John E. Booty (Editor)
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Item description for The Book of Common Prayer, 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book by Judith D. Maltby & John E. Booty...

John E. Booty's edition of "The Book of Common Prayer, 1559, "first published by the University Press of Virginia for the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1976 and long out of print, is now being reissued in the same handsome format as the original edition. In her foreword to the 2005 reissue, Judith Maltby writes, "It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of the 1559 Prayer Book.... Shakespeare was clearly shaped by a culture in which the vernacular was remarkably vigorous."

Booty's text derives from a rare copy of the Elizabethan Prayer Book printed by Richard Jugge and John Cawode in 1559, now part of the Josiah Benton Collection of the Boston Public Library. Booty modernized spelling and punctuation, but took care not to distort the style and cadence of the Elizabethan text. To place the Prayer Book in its original cultural setting, he wrote a lengthy critical essay that traces the book's history and use during the sixteenth century. Helpful bibliographical notes enable readers to appreciate all the nuances of particular services and their contents. Particularly useful are the general index and the index of biblical passages, features unavailable in other editions of the Prayer Book.

Through this magnificent document one begins to understand not only the Anglican church but also the Elizabethan culture in which Shakespeare lived, for this was one of the books that helped shape Renaissance England in all of its vitality and greatness. As Booty reminds the reader in his preface, each Sunday "in the parish churches and in the cathedrals the nation was at prayer, the commonwealth was being realized, and God, in whose hands the destinies of all were lodged, was worshiped in spirit and in truth."

Published in association with the Folger Shakespeare Library

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Item Specifications...

Studio: University of Virginia Press
Pages   427
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.22" Width: 6.32" Height: 1.28"
Weight:   1.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 5, 2005
Publisher   University of Virginia Press
Age  18
ISBN  0813925177  
ISBN13  9780813925172  

Availability  0 units.

More About Judith D. Maltby & John E. Booty

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John E. Booty is Professor Emeritus of Church History at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Judith Maltby is Chaplain and Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Anglican
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Book of Common Prayer
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Hymnals
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Prayerbooks
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Reviews - What do customers think about The Book of Common Prayer, 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book?

A Beautiful Reproduction, Intelligently Edited  Jun 1, 2008
My review's title says all I would say, save this: At this site prices, this is a bargain for historians, churchgoers, and scholars.
Book of Common Prayer history  Feb 13, 2008
This book is for anyone who likes to delve into the ever changing BCP, this England version is a treasured one for me, purely historical and reference book.
It's pretty  May 26, 2007
This is a beautiful hard-back edition of a book you can get for fifty cents. the language therein is gorgeous, but save your money and find a cheaper edition elsewhere.
The unbroken chain...  Jul 26, 2004
The Book of Common Prayer is the core of the Anglican identity. Since 1662, the standard bearer has been the primary Book of Common Prayer used by the Church of England; however, there have been many variations and developments, both supplemental liturgies and entire, new 'Books of Common Prayer' among daughter churches throughout the world. However, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer was itself the product of over a hundred years of development in the theological and worship life of the Church of England. Never was that development as varied and controversial as during the period between Henry VIII's break from Rome, through his Protestant successor Edward (or rather, through Edward's officials), back to the Roman Catholic Mary, and then to the Elizabethan period, in which a via media was attempted of sorts.

The 1559 Prayer Book was not the first; there were two predecessors -- one in 1549, and another in 1552, both done during Edward VI's brief boyhood reign. At this time, the Protestants who had been held back by Henry gained ascendancy, only to lose it again in 1553 when the young king died unexpectedly, and the people rallied to the Roman Catholic Mary, who reinstituted the Latin Missal and Breviary, used until her death in 1558, when the Protestant Elizabeth ascended the throne. The 1559 Book of Common Prayer is a revision of the 1552, only slightly, but given that the unbroken continuity of the Book of Common Prayer's usage dates from this book, it makes sense to be a significant text for study.

Elizabeth was a Protestant-Humanist, very much a character of the age, and this sentiment is reflected in the text of the Book of Common Prayer. However, the English have long been a traditional lot, and the similarities of English liturgies to Roman Catholic predecessors (particularly when compared with many continental forms of Protestantism) is no mistake. Indeed, Puritans would view the book as still too 'popish'. The Book of Common Prayer was long an instrument of state (indeed, it still is, in legal theory) and as such had more than just a theological significance. And, as an instrument of the state that was not always obeyed, sometimes the book was more honoured in the breech than in the observance.

Anglican scholar John Booty edited this edition based upon published by Richard Jugge and John Cawode in 1559. It is housed in the Boston Public Library (Booty gives history of the text and its provenance). Booty describes the variations in texts from the time, minor additions and subtractions, some of which were incorporated here, and others not. Booty did correct typographical errors and modernise spelling and punctuation to a minor degree (unfortunately, for the scholarly, often without note, unless the modern spelling changes pronunciation). Some of these are to conform to English standards that did not come into practice until the advent of the Authorised Version of the Bible (King James) in 1611.

In addition to the text of the Book of Common Prayer, Booty includes an interesting 50-page essay on the history of this version of the BCP, a good selection of notations, a reasonable bibliography (alas, out-of-date, but good up to its time), and a biblical index. The text incorporates actual rubrics ('rubric' has the old meaning of 'red print', which is so printed in this text, the notes of practice and ritual around the words). Those who follow Book of Common Prayer liturgies in their own churches will be intrigued with the similarities and the differences. Christians of other denominations will be interested in the borrowings and the variations. Historians will find this useful in many ways.

A worthy text.

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