Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

CHRONOLOGY

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pp. ix-x

LIST OF FIGURES

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pp. xi-xii

A NOTE ON TEXTS

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p. xiii

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INTRODUCTION: The Archbishop in His Library

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pp. 1-6

The archbishop’s palace at Croydon, south of London, sat amid low-lying woods. King Henry avoided it: of another palace belonging to the archbishop he commented, “This house standeth low and is rheumatic, like unto Croydon, where I could never be without...

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1: One Book for One Country

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pp. 7-44

The Book of Common Prayer came into being as an instrument of social and political control. There will be much else to say about its origins, but here we must begin: the prayer book was a key means by which the great lords who ruled on behalf of the young King...

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2: Revision, Banishment, Restoration

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pp. 45-60

Troubles arose in high places and low. The evangelical aristocrats who governed England had spies keeping a close eye on Mary, the king’s older sister and a known Catholic. They reported that she ignored the new book and continued to have the old...

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3: Becoming Venerable

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pp. 61-90

The “sombrely magnificent prose” of the prayer book remains its single most striking feature. It is highly rhythmical and consistently reliant on Latinate structures, but it borrows from biblical Hebrew a deep allegiance to parallelism. Some of Cranmer’s...

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4: The Book in the Social World

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pp. 91-112

An unintended consequence of the Restoration was the creation of Dissent, or Nonconformity, as a permanent category, a fixed point on the religious landscape of Britain. Of course, there had always been people who rejected the Church of England, from...

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5: Objects, Bodies, and Controversies

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pp. 113-148

Many stories, few of which are demonstrably true, describe the adventures of that great Elizabethan Sir Francis Drake. One that has been told since Elizabeth still sat on the throne goes like this: Throughout the first half of 1579, Drake’s ship the...

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6: The Pressures of the Modern

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pp. 149-180

As the Victorian era drew to a close, the Book of Common Prayer was at or near the height of its career, something that was widely understood at the time. Even as early as 1865, in a scholarly edition of the prayer book, the Reverends W. M. Campion...

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7: Many Books for Many Countries

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pp. 181-194

Among those who treasured the old prayer book, the poet W. H. Auden offered a typical response. When his parish in Greenwich Village, St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, tried out the new rites in the late 1960s, Auden wrote a letter to the rector that...

APPENDIX: The Prayer Book and Its Printers

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pp. 195-200

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. 201-202

My first thanks go to Fred Appel, who graciously allowed me to write this book, which brought me much delight. I am also grateful to be working—for the third time—with the staff of Princeton University Press, who practice the crafts of bookmaking...

NOTES

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pp. 203-230

INDEX

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pp. 231-240