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Mother Leakey and the Bishop A Ghost Story

by Peter Marshall

Mother Leakey and the Bishop A Ghost Story Synopsis

Halloween 1636: sightings of the ghost of an old woman begin to be reported in the small English coastal town of Minehead, and a royal commission is sent to investigate. December 1640: a disgraced Protestant bishop is hanged in the Irish capital, Dublin, after being convicted of an 'unspeakable' crime. In this remarkable piece of historical detective work, Peter Marshall sets out to uncover the intriguing links between these two seemingly unconnected events. The result is a compelling tale of dark family secrets, of efforts to suppress them, and of the ways in which they finally come to light. It is also the story of a shocking seventeenth-century Church scandal which cast its shadow over religion and politics in Britain and Ireland for the best part of three centuries, drawing in a host of well known and not-so-well-known characters along the way, including Jonathan Swift, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Walter Scott. A fascinating story in its own right, Mother Leakey and the Bishop is also a sparkling demonstration of how the telling of stories is central to the way we remember the past, and can become part of the fabric of history itself.

Mother Leakey and the Bishop A Ghost Story Press Reviews

...an engaging and ambitious work... that will appeal to the divergent fields of academic history and broader reading without either boring the academic or patronizing the general reader... a remarkable achievement... thought-provoking and enjoyable. * Histoire Sociale - Social History, 42. Tom Webster. * It is an ugly story but Marshall's way of telling it is irresistible and richly informative. * Sunday Times. John Carey. * Hugely enjoyable feat of historical reconstruction...intiricate story told with hilarious elegance. * London Review of Books * This is as fine an example of microhistory as is likely to be written. * Craig Herline, Church History and Religious Culture * [This] will appeal to the divergent fields of academic history and broader reading without either boring the academic or patronizing the general reader. * Tom Webster, Histoire Sociale-Social History, 42 * An engaging and ambitious work...a remarkable achievement...thought-provoking and enjoyable. * Tom Webster, Histoire Sociale-Social History, 42 * What a surprisingly wonderful read! With this work, Peter Marshall has written one of the best narratives on seventeenth-century English history, bringing together the small world of a Somerset fishing village with the larger worlds of Sir Thomas Wentworth, Archbishop Laud, and even Charles I. * Journal of British Studies *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780199532070
Publication date: 1st October 2008
Author: Peter Marshall
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 352 pages
Categories: Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, History of religion, Social & cultural history, Occult studies,

About Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall is Professor of History at the University of Warwick, with a particular interest in the study of religious belief and practice in sixteenth and seventeenth-century England and the cultural impact of the English Reformation. He has published widely in the field, including a survey of the period, Reformation England 1480-1642, and The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, also published by Oxford University Press.

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