CATHOLICS IN ENGLAND by Mary D.R. Leys

CATHOLICS IN ENGLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The parallel limps. But the controversy surrounding the recent book, Catholics and Hitler's Wars, (supplement p. 164) suggest a comparison with this new book about another period of history. Here was a situation in which defiance of the regime in England from 1559 to 1829 -- on religious grounds alone -- usually meant death. Yet, the resistance and perseverance in the faith of Catholics under the most adverse conditions were to become distinguishing marks of this segment of the English people. Despite clear-cut, unjust persecution, the English Catholics still remained loyal to the throne. This dichotomy is the thesis of this social history written by Mary Leys. And a fascinating retelling of a colorful period it is. The loyal dissidents came from all walks of life and did so at great personal risk, physical and economic. Plots, counterplots, intrigue abound. The author does a real service in recreating this evaluation of this tumultuous time in English history from a specific vantage point. The author shows how-- despite severe laws, executions, murder, imprisonments and torture -- Catholics remained a part of all classes of English society. How they remained faithful in such large numbers, without priests, and when all human influence would have had them conform, is the story behind the history of this excellent appreciation of the English Catholics who kept the faith yet remained ""pure English"".

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1962
Publisher: Sheed & Ward