"Ethan Shagan set out to fire controversy and in this he will succeed." Thomas F. Mayer, Augustana College
"[A] fascinating interpretation of the English Reformation...Shagan asks imaginative and fresh questions of the evidence...Lucidly and incisively written, Shagan's work offers much to ponder." William Wizeman, S.J., Fordham University, Sixteenth Century Journal
"Shagan explores the key social, religious, cultural and governmental elements in England's conversion to a Protestant nation...[a] comprehensive text..." Northwestern
"...an impressive response to revisionists who argue that the English were inherently conservative and resistant to religious change." Religious Studies Review
"A well-written, innovative work that makes an important and provocative contribution to the debate about why Catholicism lost its hold on the English people." Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"One of the most thought-provoking books of the last decade on this much-worked topic." Renaissance Quarterly
"This is a book that students of the English Reformation must read, as much for its historiographical arguments as for its case studies...This book is an effective attempt to move the debate over the English Reformation off dead center...Based on extensive archival work, this volume does not pretened to be a history of the Reformation; rather, is presents an argument about how reformation occurred. It refreshingly quits trying to count converted noses and conservative faithful and asks a most reasonable question: what did people do in the face of reform from above?" - Journal of Modern History, Norman Jones, Utah State University
This is a study of popular responses to the English Reformation, analysing how ordinary people received, interpreted, debated, and responded to religious change. It differs from other studies by arguing that the subject cannot be understood simply by asking theological questions about people's beliefs, but also must be understood by asking political questions about how they negotiated with state power. Therefore it is as much political as religious history, making a fundamental argument that even at the popular level, political and theological processes were inseparable in the sixteenth century.