Lollardy, the movement deriving from the ideas of John Wyclif at the end of the fourteenth century, was the only heresy that affected medieval England. The history of the movement has been written hitherto largely from accounts and documents put together by its enemies which, as well as being hostile, distort and simplify the views, methods, and developments of Lollardy. This new study represents the most complete account yet of the movement
that anticipated many of the ideas and demands of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century reformers and puritans. For the first time, it brings together the evidence concerning Lollardy from all
sources: texts composed or assembled by its adherents, episcopal records, chronicles, and tracts written against Wyclif and his followers by polemicists. In the light of all this evidence a more coherent picture can be drawn of the movement; the reasoning that lay behind radical opinions put forward by Wyclif's disciples can be discerned, and the concern shown by the ecclesiastical authorities can be seen to have been justified.
By the same author: English Wycliffite Sermons Volume I 'this is the beginning of a major scholarly undertaking ... it is already clear that Dr Hudson's achievement is outstanding.' Review of English Studies
`a quite epoch-making book from Anne Hudson in The Premature Reformation, a book which at once subverts established theory, exposes an entirely new area of knowledge for study, reminds us of what was so good about traditional philology, and ... turns the tables on historians'
London Review of Books
'magisterial work ... This will become a seminal and standard work.'
G.R. Evans, Journal of Theological Studies
'The author's treatment of her sources is scrupulous. Her great strength is her extensive knowledge of literary texts, only a fraction of which are available in modern editions. Dr Hudson's book is a contribution of prime importance.'
Journal of Ecclesiastical History
'a survey that casts much new light on the history of Lollardy from Wyclif to the Reformation, deploying a wide range of earning and producing a major work of scholarship. Dr Hudson has given us a wonderfully rich study that will surely remain authoritative for a long time.'
John Frankis, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Review of English Studies
'outstanding study ... Professor Hudson gently rebukes those who despaired of finding new and more revealing evidence, and then proceeds to demonstrate how much can be gleaned from the sources that are available.'
Katherine Walsh, University of Salzburg, EHR July 90
Introduction. The problem of sources; the establishment of the Wycliffite movement; Lollard society; Lollard education; Lollard biblical scholarship; the ideology of Reformation - theology, ecclesiology, politics; the context of vernacular Wycliffism; the re-emergence of reform; conclusion - the premature Reformation?