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text 2017-11-15 13:42
The Counter-Reformation of Queen Mary I

I am back at EHFA today looking at Queen Mary's attempt at counter-reformation in England.

 

Source: englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-counter-reformation-of-mary-i.html
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review 2017-11-06 18:35
Katharina: Deliverance by Margaret Skea
Katharina: Deliverance - Margaret Skea This novel convincingly portrays a young Katharina Von Bora, a woman who would have been long forgotten were it not for her own boldness and choice of husband. Like thousands of other young girls, Katharina was sent to a convent to relieve her family of the burden of raising and marrying her off. Unlike almost all who had come before her, Katherina chose a different path than the convent at great risk, a path one might say indicates greater faith in God than a lifetime in a nunnery. Skea does a marvelous job of filling in the gaps in Katharina's life - of which there are many - while working within the framework of known historical facts. It would have been tempting for an author to write Martin and Katharina's story as more romantic than it truly was, but Skea does not give in to this temptation. Katharina makes a decision based on much more than passionate love, a type of decision that is rarely made in modern courtships, and this story is faithfully told. Though Martin Luther is not heavily featured until later in Katherina's story, he is present through quotes that appear at the beginning of each chapter, giving the reader the sensation that the two were on paths destined to intersect long before they knew each other. While their courtship is not the stuff of a romantic blockbuster movie, we are given hints that they did indeed grow to love each other very much through glimpses of Katharina later in life. Neither Martin nor Katharina is perfect. Luther's fiery temper and impetuosity is on display, as is Katharina's willingness to firmly defend her own opinions. It is made clear that neither was the other's first choice, but they both determined to make the marriage work, not only for their own sake but for the greater glory of God. 'He is a good man, who, if some of his wilder impulses can be contained, may yet become great.' Become great he did, with an amazing woman to support him. I am excited to read more of Katharina's story in Skea's next book. I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.
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text 2017-10-31 12:07
The Reformation: Henry & Luther

I am at EHFA today blogging on - you guessed it - the Reformation!

 

Source: englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.ca/2017/10/the-reformation-henry-luther.html
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text 2017-10-25 14:41
1517 by Peter Marshall
1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation - Peter Marshall

This book is not really about Martin Luther or even exclusively about the year 1517. It is more of a detailed study of the posting of the 95 Theses - whether or not it really happened and how the action (whether historical or legend) has been viewed and inspired others throughout the five centuries since.

 

While this was an interesting study, I couldn't help but wonder throughout my reading of it how much it really mattered. I will admit that, as one who has studied the era and even visited Wittenberg, I am not entirely convinced that Luther did boldly nail the 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church on October 31, 1517. However, the spark of the Reformation was lit and Martin Luther's journey began on that day, even if he did just mail the discussion points to his archbishop rather than immediately publicize them.

 

The author includes a detailed study on how the beginning of the Reformation has been memorialized and celebrated through the ages. This is partially evidence to disprove the Theses posting, but it is an interesting look at how different people in different ages and circumstances viewed Luther's work. Different generations placed more significance on the Diet of Worms or the burning of the Papal Bull or simply Luther's birth or death anniversary. How did we come to focus on the Theses posting as the most significant event giving life to the Reformation? The author is not sure and seems disappointed in the choice.

 

I can relate. I have stood before the doors that are now bronze and embossed with the words of the 95 Theses, and was thrilled to be there. But wasn't Luther's 'On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church' more important? Wasn't the Diet of Worms when he truly stood up for reform? Maybe, but before those more compelling events, Luther had to go through the experiences that the 95 Theses brought about. Maybe the burning of his notice of excommunication is more defiant and bold, but it would not have happened without the 95 Theses.

 

Maybe the passing years have injected October 31, 1517 with more of the drama of the events that followed it because we like the movie-worthy moment of the mild and obedient monk angrily hammering his objections to the door of the very church he is protesting. Maybe the Theses really weren't posted until Luther had been ignored by the proper chain of command. Maybe he had a student glue them up, as would have been more proper than the professor of theology taking nails to the church door. Maybe people didn't gather in excitement the moment the notice went up. However, in retrospect, people of Luther's time and many more since have recognized October 31, 1517 as the day when Martin Luther began something that changed the world.

 

I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.

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text 2017-10-09 13:45
The Heroines of Plantagenet Embers

I am a guest blogger today at Tudors Dynasty with a post about what drew me to the leading ladies in my novels.

 

Source: www.tudorsdynasty.com/heroines-plantagenet-embers-guest-post
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