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In Hope of Heaven

English Recusant Prison Writings of the Sixteenth Century


Paul E. Strauss

This book represents a fresh look at four Recusant writers of the sixteenth century - John Fisher, Thomas More, Robert Southwell, and Benedict Canfield - each imprisoned for the practice of his Catholic faith. All are united by the additional bond that while in prison, they wrote books in which they stated their ultimate belief that the crown of martyrdom awaited those who persevered. At times polemical, at other times reflective and consolatory, these men encapsulated the best of traditional Catholic thought for an audience living in shifting and perilous times. This book offers a new evaluation of an old and vital tradition, one too often neglected by traditional literary studies.