Generations: Age, Ancestry, and Memory in the English Reformations (Hardcover)
This book examines England's plural and protracted Reformations through the novel prism of the generations. Approaching generation as a biological unit and a social cohort, it demonstrates that the tumultuous religious developments that stretched across the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries not merely transformed the generations but were also forged by them. It provides compelling new insights into how people experienced and navigated the profound challenges that the Reformations posed in everyday life. Alexandra Walsham investigates how age and ancestry were implicated in the theological and cultural upheavals of the era and how these in turn reconfigured the nexus between memory, history, and time. Generations explores the manifold ways in which the Reformations shaped the horizontal relationships that men, women, and children formed with their siblings, kin, and peers, as well as the vertical ones that tied them to their dead ancestors and their future heirs. It highlights the vital part that families bound by blood and by faith played in the making of current events and in recording the past for posterity. Drawing on previously untapped archival evidence, in tandem with a rich array of printed texts, visual images, and material objects, this study offers poignant glimpses of individual lives and casts fascinating light on how families were both torn apart and brought closer together by the English Reformations.
Alexandra Walsham, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge; Fellow of Emmanuel College Alexandra Walsham is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge. A Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and of the British Academy, she has published extensively on the religious and cultural history of early modern Britain and Europe and is the author of several prize-winning monographs. She co-edited the journal Past and Present for a decade and delivered the Ford Lectures at the University of Oxford in 2018.