Pilgrimage was a central feature of medieval English life which affected history, politics, art and literature. The shrines were destroyed during the Reformation and pilgrimage stopped, yet the idea of pilgrimage continued - refashioned - in Protestant theology and in the exploration of the newly discovered world. By reaching beyond the Reformation to explore the transformation of the idea of the pilgrim in Protestant spirituality, this book confronts the religious experience of the English laity over half a millennium. The attractions for pilgrims of journeys to Jerusalem and to Canterbury and other English religious shrines are considered, while the political aspects of pilgrimage are discussed in relation to the architectural, documentary and pictorial evidence for the expression of lay piety in late medieval England. The cult of St Thomas of Canterbury is studied in particular detail, up to the suppression and in the revival of the cult in the sixteenth century.
Review of the hardback: 'This attractive book offers a valuable guide to the rich resources regarding English pilgrims, and is ideal reading for the modern visitor to holy places.' Church Times
Review of the hardback: 'Imaginatively written and artfully fit into a developmental sequence The resulting publication is first-rate writing: definitive statements illuminated by clear illustrations, wit, vivid literary and visual allusions, imaginative sympathy with the past, and a personal enthusiasm for the subject.' Gayle Gaskill, H-Albion
"This impressive collection of essays...richly fulfills its promise to advance scholarship on English pilgrimage in ways which complement recent studies of pilgrimage on the Continent. This excellent volume will certainly take its place as an essential starting-point for future studies of English pilgrimage." Susan J. Ridyard, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, Canadian Journal of History
"...the embodiment of several of the most important trends in recent historiography, most conspicuously, cultural history...useful and interesting." Renaissance Quarterly
"...an important and timely contribution..." Albion
"Gives a very full picture of the importance of pilgrimage. The collection as a whole offers yet another angle on the remarkable national transformation that is the English Reformation." Studies in English Literature
"[An] erudite and eminently readable collection." H-NET