John Foxe, Evangelicalism, and the Oxford Movement Dialogue Across the Centuries

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Samuel Roffey Maitland waged a vituperative crusade in the 19th century against John Foxe, the editors of the Acts and Monuments, and the work itself. Through a careful examination of Maitland’s extensive writings, this book attempts to show whether Maitland was justified in his assessment of Foxe’s place in the English Reformation, Foxe’s role in determining the eventual nature of the Church of England, and whether Maitland was indispensable to the undermining of Foxe, his circle, and his works. It also provides a detailed study of George Townsend, who wrote a biographical study of John Foxe for the first edition; and also studies of Stephen Reed Cattley, the editor of the first edition, and of John Stoughton, who wrote a new biographical introduction for the fourth Victorian edition.

“. . . a well-researched and convincingly argued study. It makes a very significant contribution to the historical understanding of the early Victorian church and its controversies. . . . provides a detailed history of the publication of the four Victorian editions of Acts and Monuments, as least as far as the surviving sources allow. It also places the project within the context of the growing controversies over Tractarianism and the Oxford Movement in the 1830s and 1840s. . . . It is a significant contribution to knowledge and a highly interesting story, all in one.” – Ronald Fritze


“. . . the product of careful and empirical scholarship. That is, it is not based on recent theories of reception of texts or of postmodernism, to take but two examples; instead, it is based on a solid and thorough research and evaluation of available archival and library materials. . . . guides the reader through the considerable complexities of the theological debates that are both inherent in the material and a common feature of the nineteenth century, and sufficient social context that the reader can understand readily the significance of the debates. Above all, Dr. Penny reaches judicious conclusions that pull the various strands together very skilfully. . . . a testament to the clarity of Dr. Penny’s insight and scholarship.” – David J. Hall

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Introduction
1. John Foxe’s Historical Reception
2. Foxe’s Personal Integrity and the Problem of the Sectaries
3. John Foxe, the Acts and Monuments and the Development of Historical Interpretation
4. The Friends of Foxe in the Early Victorian Years
5. Epilogue
Index; Bibliography

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