A frenzied account of the persecution of Protestants in Europe in the 16th century, and one of the most famous pieces of propaganda ever written
There are few more potent books than Foxe's Book of Martyrs
. Innumerable English and Scottish Protestant homes had a copy, and in many ways, it is the founding document of a new identity that emerged under Elizabeth I. In vigorous, outraged prose, Foxe dramatized the "persecutions and horrible troubles" of those who had fallen victim to the Catholics, with lurid details and illustrations intended to whip up the reader's sense of horror and disgust. Foxe's extraordinary book is a great work of propaganda, a founding Protestant text and a work of serious scholarship, as well as a mish-mash of half-truths and outrageous assertions.
This selection from Foxe, with a full introduction, notes, and reproductions of key illustrations, will be essential for anyone wishing to understand not only Elizabethan Britain, but also the core ideology that would underpin British anti-Catholicism as well as distance from, suspicion of and distate for continental Europe--an aversion that would last for centuries.