Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Cathedrals under Siege: Cathedrals in English Society, 1600-1700

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Cathedrals under Siege: Cathedrals in English Society, 1600-1700

Article excerpt

Cathedrals Under Siege: Cathedrals in English Society, 1600-1700. By Stanford E. Lehmberg. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1996. xxx + 270 pp. $55.00 (cloth).

In this handsomely produced study Professor Lehmberg offers a sequel to a previous volume of like kind, The Reformation of Cathedrals (Princeton, 1988). The study's nine chapters are divisible into two parts: the first (chapters 1-3) provides an overview of cathedrals with an eye toward current political and ecclesiastical events in the Stuart, Civil War and Interregnum, and Restoration periods respectively; the second part (chapters 4-9) takes the form of social history with particular concern for the diverse players (e.g. deans and chaplains, organists and singers, civic worthies) whose lives and work connected with the cathedrals and their work. In the course of the chapters the reader enters into a microcosm of the seventeenth-century English world in many of its aspects.

The author has combined a variety of source materials (e.g. county and cathedral archives, diaries) in a fluent, judicious, informative and often entertaining text. Evidence vis-a-vis architectural and monumental remains are set beside apposite remarks about theology and ecclesiastical history which indicate the author's familiarity with current scholarly study and analysis of the period. In addition, use has been made of computer-aided examination of prosopographical data so as to provide the reader with informative charts about, say, cathedral finance, and the academic training and credentials of cathedral clergy. …

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