The English Catholic Community, 1688-1745: Politics, Culture, and Ideology/Catholic Gentry in English Society: The Throckmortons of Coughton from Reformation to Emancipation/The Making and Unmaking of the English Catholic Intellectual Community, 1910-1950

Article excerpt

The English Catholic Community, 1688-1745: Politics, Culture, and ideology. By Gabriel Glickman. (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell Press, 2009, Pp. ix, 306. $115.00.)

Catholic Gentry in English Society: The Throckmortons of Coughton from Reformation to Emancipation. Edited by Peter Marshall and Geoffrey Scott. (Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2009, Pp. xvi, 282. $114.95.)

The Making and Unmaking of the English Catholic Intellectual Community, 1910-1950. By James R. Lothian. (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2009, Pp. xxiii, 487. $60.00.)

Scholarly interest in the Reformation and post-Reformation history of English Roman Catholicism continues unabated as evidenced by the publication of these three outstanding works which consider distinct topics and periods. The Catholic Record Society of the United Kingdom must be credited to a large extent for sustaining interest in English Catholicism and contributing to the development of another generation of scholars. Founded in 1904, the Catholic Record Society has developed through its annual three-day conferences, and the publication of itsjournal, Recusant History, a monograph series, and an outstanding series of volumes with printed primary materials (the CRS Records Series.) The Catholic Archives Society, founded in 1979, is another important organization that provides valuable resources for scholars who are involved in research on English Catholicism. Numerous journals, including Midlands Catholic History, Northern History, Chesterton Review, and the Downside Review have provided outlets for scholars active in this field.

In his masterful and useful study, The English Catholic Community, 1688-1745, Politics, Culture, and Ideology, Gabriel Glickman fills a gap in recent English Catholic historiography and advances a revisionist interpretation of the recusant community's response to the political developments associated with the Glorious Revolution, the war against France, and the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. Glickman argues that English Catholic households were successful in handling the challenges that they confronted during this fifty-seven year period and emerged as a more coherent political and religious force - indeed, a social elite - in English society. The Jacobite rebellion in 1745 aroused the fervor of the English Catholic gentry to restore a Catholic Stuart monarch; it did not attract the level of participation that seriously jeopardized the status quo. Care must be exercised in measuring national and religious identity; treatises, tracts, and transcripts of speeches may reflect a reality that is not supported by political or military actions. Glickman utilized a wide range of manuscript sources from a variety of depositories including the Archives of the Archbishop of Westminster, the British Library, Downside Abbey, the Archives of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, various Record Offices, and other sources. His bibliography, and his use of the materials in the text, clearly indicates that Glickman had a facile command of the current and past literature on English Catholicism during this era.

In Catholic Gentry in English Society: The Throckmortons of Coughton from Reformation to Emancipation, Peter Marshall and Geoffrey Scott have edited a volume of nine essays focused on the history of the Throckmortons of Coughton (Warwickshire) sustaining their Catholicism and their political, economic, and social position with English society from the early sixteenth to the second half of the nineteenth centuries. In the initial essay, "Introduction: The Catholic Gentry in English Society," Marshall and Scott present a valuable description of the precarious yet sustainable position and role of the Catholic gentry in English society; they were indeed correct when they wrote: "Early modern Catholic history has begun to come in from the cold" - in large part due the quality of scholars such as themselves. Marshall and Scott's "Introduction" places the issues which are to be discussed front and center. …