Cathedrals Under Siege
Cathedrals in English Society, 1600-1700
Cathedrals Under Siege is the story of our greatest churches during the seventeenth century - the most perilous episode in their history. During the Civil War and Commonwealth, they were attacked, desecrated and abolished as institutions, just managing to survive to be restored with Charles II in 1660. This book reviews these great events along with the quieter periods in the early and later parts of the centuries. It examines all aspects of cathedral history - buildings, clergy, finances, music and literature - breaking new ground in the first ever study of cathedrals in this important century.
Contents: "The grace and beauty of the whole city"; the early 17th century - "one peevish difference or another"; the Civil War and Interregnum - "rattling down proud Becket's glassy bones"; the restoration of cathedrals - "the happy return of the Church"; the dean and chapter - an open elite; writings of the cathedral clergy - every bookseller's stall groans"; cathedral finance - "under the burden of much want"; cathedral music and musicians - "the unutterable ravishing soul's delight"; cathedrals in 17th-century society (1) - "the greatnesse and state of that church"; cathedrals in 17th-century society (2) - "the indevotion and sloth of the age".
"Lehmberg's assiduous prosopography will win him gratitude from fellow historians." (Ecclesiastical History, July 1997) "A very solid achievement of excellent scholarship - massive, extensive, even relentless… [Lehmberg] has searched out archival evidence all over the realm and bases his conclusions on a thorough, personal inspection of the cathedrals of England… The story is beautifully told and proves fascinating." (Sir Geoffrey Elton)
Stanford Lehmberg is Professor of History in the University of Minnesota, USA, and one of the most eminent American historians of British history. His numerous books include biographies of leading Tudor Englishmen and the fundamental study of English cathedrals during the Reformation period: The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 (Princeton, 1988)