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Publication details for Professor Alec RyrieRyrie, Alec. (2003). The Gospel and Henry VIII: Evangelicals in the Early English Reformation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Publication type: Authored book
- ISSN/ISBN: 0521036658
- DOI: 10.2277/0521823439
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
During the last decade of Henry VIII’s life, his Protestant subjects struggled to reconcile two loyalties: to their Gospel and to their king. This book tells the story of that struggle and describes how a radicalised English Protestantism emerged from it. Focusing on the critical but neglected period 1539–47, Dr Ryrie argues that these years were not the ‘conservative reaction’ of conventional historiography, but a time of political fluidity and ambiguity. Most evangelicals continued to hope that the king would favour their cause, and remained doctrinally moderate and politically conformist. The author examines this moderate reformism in a range of settings - in the book trade, in the universities, at court and in underground congregations. He also describes its gradual eclipse, as shifting royal policy and the dynamics of the evangelical movement itself pushed reformers towards the more radical, confrontational Protestantism which was to shape the English identity for centuries.