In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

348BOOK REVIEWS rassing, but also with a microscope which takes into account handwriting.This is admittedly a minefield, but certain high probabüities, U not cast iron facts, emerge, notably that the Monteagle letter was written Ui CecU's own hand,who admitted it was in"a hand disguised." Letters Ui the Spanish papers Ui the Public Record Office, London, and at Hatfield make it clear thatTresham was aUowed to escape. His pious death in the Tower was a huge charade.Joan Cambridge, a leading graphologist, examined the hands involved in both cases and concluded there was at least a good probabiUty that they belonged to the gentlemen in question.These are only a couple of clues to another ???efGe?????? of the data. There are important respects in which Fraser departs from the standard story; notably that there was no mine involved in the alleged operations under Parliament (pp. 110- 112).After the fire in 1834, no trace was found ofany such tunnelling, and the whole story is on the face ofit absurd. Fraser also exonerates the priests, including Father Henry Garnet, SJ. Coke, working for CecU, tried to make them the main organizers (Chap. xvi). When such standard items are shown to be false the rest of the tale begins to unravel. Two excellent features of the book are the genealogical details given of recusant famiUes having a connection with plotters (p. xiii) and with much in the text. On the strength of this Cecil was able to harry many innocents after the plot. Fraser has much to say on the women involved that is of interest. An instructive plan also gives us the location ofthe recusant houses and how they lay on the "plotters'" sorry progress to Holbeach (p. xiv).There were never more than eighty: hardly enough to rouse a nation to revolution! There is also a good deal of incidental information which makes this book worth reading. We are told that"under EngUsh law today, Father Garnet would be still be obliged to disclose the information he had received in the confessional." However, while priests, doctors, and psychiatrists are aU so bound,"lawyers can claim privUege in not revealing information received from their cUents" (pp. 258-259, n.).This is a "must read" but to be read on the understanding it is not the whole truth. Francis Edwards, S.J. London A Literary History of the English Jesuits:A Century ofBooks, 1615-1 714. By Thomas H. Clancy. (Bethesda, Maryland: CathoUc Scholars Press. 1996. Pp. x, 283. $69.95.) This study buUds on the soUd foundations laid by Clancy in his English Catholic Books, 1641-1 700:A Bibliography (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1974; revised edition pubUshed in 1996 by Scolar Press in Aldershot, England). SimUar to Peter MUward's two volumes Religious Controversies of the Elizabethan Age and Religious Controversies of the Jacobean Age (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1977 and 1978), Clancy traces predominant characteristics and themes through primary printed material. Readers may wish that certain works received greater attention. Clancy's decision to begin his ex- BOOK REVIEWS349 amination in 1615 was not arbitrary: by that date not only had most prominent Elizabethan Jesuit authors passed from the scene—Robert SouthweU, Henry Garnet,Robert Parsons—but the issues had changed.The next generation ofJesuit theologians, arguably the most competent Ui the history of the mission, has not received proper recognition. This reviewer hopes that Clancy's presentation will encourage future scholars to explore the theological works of Jesuit theologians such as John Floyd and MatthewWUson. Between 1615 and 1640, Jesuit writings were almost equaUy divided between spiritual and controversial works. Nearly 80% of the spiritual and devotional works, however, were translations or editions, whereas 85% of the controversial works were written by EngUsh Jesuits. Controversial theology was their strength—and a periodic source of trouble. In 1610 and 1614, French outrage during the battle over tyrannicide forced the Jesuit General Claudio Acquaviva to forbid any treatment of the nature and origin of poUtical authority without prior Roman approval. Later Pope Urban VIII issued the brief Britannia (I63I) to queU the storm surrounding the appointment of Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon, by forbidding under...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 348-349
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.