To mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Janina Ramirez tells the story of three books that defined this radical religious revolution in England.
Tyndale’s New Testament, Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs are no longer commonly recognised titles, yet for nearly four hundred years these works formed the backbone of British life. Their words shaped the English language, fuelled religious division and sparked revolt.
Nina discovers how the trio of texts had a powerful cumulative effect. Tyndale’s Bible made the word of God accessible to the common man for the first time; The Book of Common Prayer established a Protestant liturgy; and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs enshrined an intolerance of Catholicism. Nina reveals how they formed the nation’s Protestant identity, the impact of which can be seen even today.