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This volume explores the transformation of the British Isles in the sixteenth century. England was an effectively governed monarchy, but its authority was not easily enforced beyond the more developed south-east and midlands and it was exerised indirectly in Wales and Ireland, while Scotland was an independent monarchy. In Europe, England was significant trading partner, but its language unknown. By the early seventeenth century, the London-based English government had extended its effective authority over the North and Wales, Ireland was subjugated and colonised, and the English and Scottish crowns united. The established churches of the British Isles had broken away from the Roman Catholic Europe and were now national, royal, and protestant. With the English Bible and Shakespeare, English had reached the maturity of a potential world language, while the British peoples, now protestant, stood poised on the edge of global expansion.
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Table of Contents

Introduction ; Economy and society ; The limits of power: the English crown and the British Isles ; The Change of Religion ; Monarchy and Counsel: Models of the State ; The Renaissance in Britain ; Britain, Europe, and the world ; Conclusion ; Further Reading ; Chronology ; Glossary ; Maps ; Index

About the Author

Patrick Collinson is Regius Professor of Modern History, Emeritus, in the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity College. He prevously held chairs at the Universities of Sydney, Kent at Canterbury, and Sheffield. He is a fellow of the British Academy and of the Australian Academy of Humanities. He is the author of numerous books and articles on sixteenth-century Britain, including 'The Elizabethan Puritan Movement' (OUP, 1990) and 'Elizabethan Essays' (1994).


"Collinson's contributors seek to describe developments across these island, and they consistently identify important dynamics affecting all their constituent elements...This book will provide an accessible, refreshing approach to an alternative view" Institute of Historical Research, History Website "By combining the work of various historians from various backgrounds the editor has guaranteed that this volume will not only inform but stimulate." Contemporary Review, April 2002

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