The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (Hardback)
  • The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (Hardback)
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The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (Hardback)

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£52.00
Hardback 656 Pages / Published: 17/02/2011
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The Reformation of the Landscape is a richly detailed and original study of the relationship between the landscape of Britain and Ireland and the tumultuous religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It explores how the profound theological and liturgical transformations that marked the era between 1500 and 1750 both shaped, and were in turn shaped by, the places and spaces within the physical environment in which they occurred. Moving beyond churches, cathedrals, and monasteries, it investigates how the Protestant and Catholic Reformations affected perceptions and practices associated with trees, woods, springs, rocks, mountain peaks, prehistoric monuments, and other distinctive topographical features of the British Isles. Drawing on extensive research and embracing insights from a range of disciplines, Alexandra Walsham examines the origins, immediate consequences, and later repercussions of these movements of religious renewal, together with the complex but decisive modifications of belief and behaviour to which they gave rise. It demonstrates how ecclesiastical developments intersected with other intellectual and cultural trends, including the growth of antiquarianism and the spread of the artistic and architectural Renaissance, the emergence of empirical science and shifting fashions within the spheres of medicine and healing. Set within a chronological framework that stretches backwards towards the early Middle Ages and forwards into the nineteenth century, the book assesses the critical part played by the landscape in forging confessional identities and in reconfiguring collective and social memory. It illuminates the ways in which the visible world was understood and employed by the diverse religious communities that occupied the British Isles, and shows how it became a battleground in which bitter struggles about the significance of the Christian and pagan past were waged.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199243556
Number of pages: 656
Weight: 1224 g
Dimensions: 238 x 167 x 41 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
One ends this impressive book wanting more and we can hope that a flotilla of new studies by other scholars will appear in its wake. * Kenneth Fincham, History Today *
the most important book on the Reformation in Britain and Ireland. * Catholic Times *
The overall picture is vivid, astoundingly detailed and deeply compelling in its conceptual range and its forthright analysis. This book moves with both grace and authority over a vast tract of time and space, giving a whole new dimension to the Reformation debate, and contributing to several other related discussions as it goes... Charting the topography of religious conviction and the panorama of magic and memory, [Walsham] has reconfigured a landscape of her own, contributing an outstanding landmark to the scholarly terrain. * Lucy Wooding, Times Higher Education *
The interweaving of religious and local history in this book produces a most stimulating effect. Based on research as broad as it is deep, it conveys an understanding of the habits of belief and desire that drove generations of men and women all over these islands to feats of destruction and preservation in the cause of religion. * Graham Parry, The Guardian *
This book draws on immense learning, wearing it lightly...Its grace and authority will commend it to theologians, anthropologists, geographers and a mass of general readers besides academic historians. Its compelling argument makes the book required reading for all concerned with early modern Britain and Ireland. The Reformation of the Landscape confirms Alexandra Walsham's place in the very front rank of British historians. * Anthony Fletcher, Times Literary Supplement *
A superb work of synthesis, full of fascinating detail, animated by an astringent intelligence and abounding in original insights. * Keith Thomas, London Review of Books *
Magisterial...[Walsham] cements her reputation as the finest Reformation historian of her generation...a landmark of Reformation studies. * Alec Ryrie, The Tablet *
A fascinating study of the place of landscape in English religious sentiment during the century and a half after the Reformation, a work of stunning originality. * Jonathan Sumption, The Spectator *
Brings an extraordinary breadth and depth of erudition, high literary gifts, and remarkable intellectual ambition... Colourful, complex, subtle, sophisticated, argumentative, and wide-ranging, Walshams book forces us to look anew at many familiar themes, besides pointing towards a host of unfamiliar places. * Wilfred Prest, Australian Book Review *
Walsham presents an admirably complex rendering of the British and Irish landscape * Elizabeth Yale, Social History of Medicine *
This book represents the crowning glory of a new turn in Reformation historiography. Rather than the customary focus upon the origins, speed, direction and popularity of England's sixteenth-century Reformations, Walsham illuminates their impact upon the landscape with unparalleled breadth, variety and sophistication. * Andrew Hopper, Rural History *
The Reformation of the Landscape is an astonishing accomplishment ... This is not just a book for historians of the landscape, or even Reformation historians. It is a book for anybody with at least a passing interest in the history of Britain or its constituent parts, in its religion, its culture, its social practices, its memory or its national identity/identities. Within its pages the landscape is lovingly revealed, not as a backdrop for human actors, or an occasional participant in events, but as an active agent in our history, and a rich, multifarious and constantly evolving record of the past as experienced by all who lived in it. * Jonathan Willis, English Historical Review *
This is an important book: of encouragement and example, as well as stimulation and provocation. * Paul Everson, Landscape History *
Walsham has superbly told the story of the "rich, eclectic, and contradictory legacy which the Reformation...left upon the landscape" of Britain and Ireland. * Rudolph P. Almasy, The Sixteenth Century Journal *
a delight, rich with evidence and ideas ... a fresh, interesting, and exciting read ... a historical blockbuster that will inspire a generation. * Adam Stout, Time & Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture *
This enormously learned, rich book is a fascinating archaeology, revealing much about how that mental world came into being. * Carl Watkins, Magdalene College, Cambridge *

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