Going to Church in Medieval England (Paperback)Nicholas Orme (author)
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Brimming with vivid detail and fascinating insight, Orme’s beautifully illustrated volume delivers a comprehensive account of the role of churches as the heart of social life in medieval England.
Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2022
An engaging, richly illustrated account of parish churches and churchgoers in England, from the Anglo-Saxons to the mid-sixteenth century.
Parish churches were at the heart of English religious and social life in the Middle Ages and the sixteenth century. In this comprehensive study, Nicholas Orme shows how they came into existence, who staffed them, and how their buildings were used. He explains who went to church, who did not attend, how people behaved there, and how they-not merely the clergy-affected how worship was staged.
The book provides an accessible account of what happened in the daily and weekly services, and how churches marked the seasons of Christmas, Lent, Easter, and summer. It describes how they celebrated the great events of life: birth, coming of age, and marriage, and gave comfort in sickness and death. A final chapter covers the English Reformation in the sixteenth century and shows how, alongside its changes, much that went on in parish churches remained as before.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Number of pages: 496
Dimensions: 197 x 127 mm
'Orme's book, a vast intricate mosaic resting atop a mountain of research, is often funny, often moving, and always fascinating. You finish it with a real feeling for the lives of normal people (so often absent from history books) in a world of great contrasts... a world of humour, and of sadness; a world not entirely unlike our own.' - Duncan Morrison, The Daily Telegraph
'Christmas is the time of year when people are most likely to attend divine service, and Going to Church in Medieval England [...] tells us how they did it 800 years ago... Orme also describes how the churches that punctuate our landscape came about, and who ran them.' - Simon Heffer, The Daily Telegraph
'Eye-opening... Orme deftly shows how church language became part of everyday English.' - Harry Mount, Spectator
'Prof Orme's beady eye for lively human interest makes him very good company.' - Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Country Life
'Orme explains in impressive detail what churches (and church-going) were like in the Middle Ages.' - The Week
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