In historical studies of English Catholicism, the eighteenth century, described as a period of 'persecution without martyrdom', has been largely passed over. That neglect is wholly unwarranted. The foundation of the modern Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales dates to 1688 and over the next century and a half Catholic recusants overcame discrimination and oppression to win full citizenship; and, by degrees, the mission emerged from its seclusion in rural backwaters to take a prominent place in the cities and towns. Moreover, the defining characteristics of the old recusant community changed almost completely, amounting to nothing less than a radical transformation of their social structure and outlook. This is an important study of post-Reformation English Catholic history in one of the traditional strongholds of recusancy. It consists of a careful and extensive survey of both laity and clergy and shows how they bravely held their own in the wider society of the north-east despite their deprivations. A major feature of the book is the collection of the individual histories of all the chapels and churches in the region from their foundation. Such a comprehensive account has not been attempted before, and is therefore a major contribution to the narrative of the development of English Catholicism.
Leo Gooch, Paperback, ISBN 10: 0852448198, ISBN 13: 9780852448199