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A great intro to the Reformation
on February 2, 2015
As a Catholic I knew little about the reformation, and this book was a perfect introduction, because in Belloc's engaging, conversational style one can learn about the people involved rather than reading some dry, historical account.
The big surprise I learned was that the Reformation was successful because of the nobility's desire to confiscate church property for their own gain, which happened not only in England but all over Europe. (The trend started in Germany, where, for example, Martin Luther lived in a monastery stolen from the Catholic Church).
Also surprising was that I had always felt that Anne Boleyn was the victim of Henry XVIII...turns out she was way more in control of the situation than he was (for a time, anyway).
And I also never realized how much bloodshed occurred as a result of the Reformation. After reading this book I realized that in today's world the Reformers would be considered terrorists!
The real losers in the Reformation were the everyday people, and to some extent, that has continued over the years as we would never have had Naziism, Communism, or Socialism without the Reformation.