John Cooper

Vaux A-Mercy

God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

By

The Bodley Head 443pp £25 order from our bookshop

‘I ride about some piece of the country every day. The harvest is wonderful great … I cannot long escape the hands of the heretics.’ So the Elizabethan Jesuit Edmund Campion reported to Rome on his work to sustain the Catholic faith in England. Campion’s host in Northamptonshire was William, Lord Vaux, ‘by whom I am dearly loved, and whom I particularly revere’. The story of Catholic recusancy (from the Latin recusare, meaning ‘to refuse’) is generally told through its priests, the well-educated and strikingly young men who risked their necks to celebrate Mass and offer absolution. Less often studied are the families who enabled the English mission, exposing themselves to state-sponsored intimidation, seizure of assets and worse. God’s Traitors tracks one such family, the Vauxes of Harrowden (it rhymes with ‘Fawkes’, though no blood connection with the Gunpowder plotter has been found),

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,