Thomas Cranmer’s place in English history is firmly established, yet the complexities of his character have remained obscure and he continues to be one of the most problematic figures of the Tudor period. Susan Wabuda’s biography sheds fresh light not only on the private Cranmer, but also on the qualities that enabled him to master a shifting political landscape and to build a new English Church.
Athletic by nature, Cranmer enjoyed hunting and he was a keen collector of books. He was blessed with several lifelong friendships and twice risked his career by marrying the women he loved. A skilled debater and a deft politician, Cranmer sought to balance his long-term plans for the Church against the immediate demands of survival at court. Obedient at all times, yet never entirely trustworthy, he had to reconcile the will of his God with the will of the monarch he served.
For too long, Cranmer’s legacy has overshadowed the life of the man himself, but this new biography enriches and extends our understanding of both. Accessible and informative, it will be essential reading for students and scholars of the English Reformation and the Tudor age.
Table of Contents
2 Early life, 1489–1526
3 The king’s `great matter’, 1527–1533
4 The new archbishop, 1533–1535
5 Thomas Cromwell ascendant, 1535–1537
6 Invincible Henry, 1538–1540
7 The Privy Council, 1540–1547
8 Edward VI and the Book of Common Prayer, 1547–1552
9 Oxford, 1553–1556
10 Thomas Cranmer's Legacy for the English Church
Susan Wabuda is Associate Professor of History at Fordham University, New York, USA. Her previous works include Preaching During the English Reformation and she is currently writing a new comprehensive study of Hugh Latimer.
"A splendid appraisal of one of England's greatest, and most enigmatic, churchmen. Underpinned by significant new research, Susan Wabuda's life of Cranmer is also an illuminating guide to the tumultuous times through which he lived, and which he substantially helped to shape."
Peter Marshall, University of Warwick, UK
"Susan Wabuda is to be commended for this fresh study of the life and thought of Thomas Cranmer. The purpose of the book is twofold: to provide a concise and accessible biography of Cranmer and to make additional contributions to our knowledge of the great reformer. It succeeds on both counts.
"Wabuda’s Thomas Cranmer is to be applauded for its admirable new research, helpful guides, and careful coverage of the life and theology of Cranmer. The helpful arrangement of endnotes for each chapter, concise suggestions for further reading, and efficient index make this a most accessible book for both scholars and the more general reader. It is an excellent introduction to the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury and ought to be wisely used and widely welcomed."
Mark Earngey, British Catholic History
"Wabuda’s engaging narrative is a welcome addition to the scholarship on Cranmer. It brings to life his ecclesiastical career as well as those contexts required to make sense of it.
In ten concise and beautifully written chapters, Wabuda presents Cranmer’s life and his legacies. It is a work suited for both beginners and those long schooled in the intricacies of the English Reformation. It supplies an accessible and cutting-edge account of Cranmer’s life and principal writings."
Jonathan Reimer, Society for Renaissance Studies