Item description for English Catholic Heroes by John Jolliffe...
Through the great men and women of the English Church we can see the continuous inspiration of the Catholic Faith in England as an unbroken tradition shaping life and work, history and culture, for more than fourteen centuries. In this book a group of distinguished authors with varying interests, champion the achievements of nineteen seminal figures in the history of the English Church - from the seventh century to the present time - who through their Catholic witness have made a contribution to the spiritual, intellectual, ethical and physical welfare of the nation which can be fairly described as 'heroic'. Heroism takes many different forms. Self-evidently heroic are the martyrs of the penal years who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Faith; others earn their place in this book because their achievements in many different fields of endeavour are truly heroic - in education and social teaching, in architecture and literature, and in challenging the nation's conscience and our national consciousness. The continuity of the Catholic witness in England is often overlooked because of the dislocation caused by the English Reformation, the three subsequent centuries of suppression of the Church, and the rewriting of history to create a new national myth. However, in these lives we can see the impact of Catholicism across the centuries and find inspiration for our own times. Clare Asquith, Lucy Beckett, Abbot Aidan Bellenger OSB, Andrew Breeze, Robert Gray, Bernard Green OSB, Alex Haydon, John Jolliffe, Edward Leigh MP, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Rory O'Donnell, Peter Phillips, William Sheils, James Stourton, Anthony Symondson SJ, James Tolhurst, and A. N. Wilson share with us their English Catholic Heroes. The companion volume, English Catholic Heroines, follows shortly.
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More About John Jolliffe
John Jolliffe is the author of the history of Duckworth: Woolf at the Door: 100 Years of Bloomsbury Behavior and has edited many other journals and collections. He lives in Great Britain.
Reviews - What do customers think about English Catholic Heroes?
Uneven but Important Oct 29, 2009
Since each chapter is by a different writer, and the different writers vary in professionalism, this collection of biographies is rather uneven. Nevertheless, it is an important collection of biographies of English Catholic heroes from the early centuries to the twentieth, and ranges well beyond the usual suspects. I was disappointed that Philip Howard was not included, especially since he is an interesting link between Edmund Campion and Robert Southwell. Lucy Becket's chapter on Cardinal Reginald Pole was brilliant, and I also appreciated Roderick O'Donnell's on Pugin, while James Stourton's on Lord Petre was illuminative in its discussion of the changing roles of the recusant nobility after Emancipation and the restoration of the hierarchy. Archbishop Nichols' hagiography of Cardinal Basil Hume seemed out of place. There is to be a companion volume on English Catholic Heroines, edited by Joanna Bogle. I look forward to that volume too.
A good introduction Oct 2, 2009
If you are not familiar with the never-ending struggles of English Catholics fighting to hold on to their "old faith" from the 1500s onward despite the persecutions of successive Protestant regimes, this might be a good place to start. The book presents the subject matter through an individual, biographical approach, ordered chronologically according to the era when each subject lived, a method that will interest even those who generally do not like to read "history books". A secondary benefit is that each chapter is written by a contemporary and prominent English Catholic whose life, in turn, is also interesting to know about, making this an enjoyable postmodern reading experience. The definition of "heroe" changes from chapter to chapter, which enriches the book, as it offers several examples on how to hold on to spiritual values despite external disapproval, oppression, repression, and persecution. This collection deals with exemplary men; the next collection will deal with English Catholic heroines. A good introduction to a revisionist reading of English history, contrasting dramatically with that traditionally proposed by English Protestant scholars over the centuries. If you like it, check out any of the excellent books by Prof. Eamon Duffy as well.