Foxe's Book of Martyrs

Oxford World's Classics


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Foxe's Book of Martyrs: Select Narratives, edited by John N. King / ISBN 9780199236848 / 330-page paperback from Oxford World's Classics


Foxe's hugely influential Book of Martyrs is a vast record of the martyrdom suffered by hundreds of Protestants, burnt alive for their beliefs during the reign of Mary I. This selection brings together some of the most famous and affecting narratives to provide a sensational window into early modern English history.

"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man: we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as, I trust, shall never be put out." Hugh Latimer's famous words of consolation to Nicholas Ridley as they are both about to be burnt alive for heresy come from John Foxe's magisterial Acts and Monuments, popularly known as the Book of Martyrs. This vast collection of unforgettable accounts of religious persecution exerted as great an influence on early modern England and New England as the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. It contains many stirring stories of the apprehension, interrogation, imprisonment, and execution of alleged heretics. Based on a new transcription of the last edition overseen by John Foxe, this new edition includes a full introduction to Foxe and his times, the religious conflicts, and the nature of martyrological narratives. The text is further enhanced by 21 of the original woodcut illustrations, glossaries of people, places, and words, a general index, and notes explaining allusions and identifying scriptural quotations.

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