Thomas Cranmer was the architect of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. He was the Archbishop who guided England through the early Reformation, and Henry VIII through the minefields of divorce. Diarmaid MacCulloch traces Cranmer from his East-Midland roots to...
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Thomas Cranmer was the architect of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. He was the Archbishop who guided England through the early Reformation, and Henry VIII through the minefields of divorce. Diarmaid MacCulloch traces Cranmer from his East-Midland roots to early Tudor Cambridge, into the household of the family of Anne Boleyn, and through the political labyrinth of the Henrican court. By then a major English statesman, living the life of a mediaeval prince-bishop, Cranmer navigated the church through the king's vacillations and finalized two successive English Prayer Books.;MacCulloch reconstructs the crises which Cranmer negotiated, from his compromising association with three of Henry's divorces, the plot by religious conservatives to oust him, his role in the attempt to establish Lady Jane Grey as Queen, to the vengeance of the Catholic Mary Tudor. In gaol after Mary's accession, Cranmer nearly succumbed to recant his life's achievements, but was able to turn the very day of his death at the stake into a dramatic demonstration of his Protestant faith.;From this account, Cranmer emerges as a sharply-focussed figure, more conservative early in his career than admirers have allowed, more evangelical than Anglicanism would later find comfortable. His legacy is his contribution to the shape and structure of English speech and, through his Prayer Book, to the moulding of an international language and the theology it expressed.
Writing from a balanced position, Diarmaid MacCulloch draws on a lifetime's scholarship of the period to present a vivid picture of Thomas Cranmer, best-known today as the author of the Anglican liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer.
This prizewinning biography provides the definitive account of Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, architect of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, King Henry VIII's guide through three divorces, and ultimately a martyr for his Protestant faith. English Reformation scholar Diarmaid MacCulloch draws on new manuscript sources in Britain and elsewhere to create this vivid new study -- the first on Cranmer in over thirty years.^"This book looks marvelous -- extremely good to read as well as being a definitive biography". -- Robert Harris, The Times (London)^"This lucidly written, deeply researched and surprisingly accessible biography of the man who served Henry VIII as Archbishop of Canterbury ... ably explores both Cranmer's drive and his persistent doubts". -- Allen D. Boyer, New York Times Book Review^"At last we have the truth about Archbishop Cranmer, the most controversial bigwig in the history of the English Church.... The best biography of Cranmer, sympathetic and candid aboutCranmer's shortcomings". -- A.L. Rowse, Evening Standard^"Definitive....An intellectual biography of a man whose most dramatic personal moments, despite the blood-letting all around him, took place in his mind and soul". -- Stuart Ferguson, Wall Street Journal
Diarmaid MacCulloch is a Fellow of St. Cross College and Lecturer in Church History in the Theology Faculty at the University of Oxford. He is a distinguished English Reformation scholar, and the author of The Reformation; Thomas Cranmer: a life, The Later reformation in England, 1547-1603 and Christian history: an introduction to the western tradition.-Editorial Review.