James ClarkMay 26, 2022
The Dissolution of the Monasteries
A New History
Yale University Press 2021
In a mere four years, England’s monastic tradition—one of the richest in all of Europe—came to an end. The Dissolution of the Monasteries, as it’s come to be known, stands in popular consciousness as a token of religious reformation and muscular government. But the Dissolution is wrapped up in partisan narratives that have obscured the role of the religious in their own day, their perception of events, others’ perceptions of them, and the meaning and impact of their demise.
In a searching, compendious yet eminently readable study, James Clark rewrites the history of this most pivotal moment in England’s past. The Dissolution of the Monasteries: A New History (Yale University Press, 2021) traces in magnificent granularity the world of monastic England, the critical events of 1536-40, and the landscape left behind when the last monastic bells rang across country granges and city throughways.
Jonathan Megerian is an educational consultant. He pursued a doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University, but left with his MA to work outside academia. He works to stay connected to the field of history through reading and, of course, interviewing for the New Books Network.