I started reading two books about the reformation at a similar time, and they are very very different books. The other (which I’m still reading) is very dry and serious and hard to get into, but Nick Page manages to take a topic (like Church history) which could be quite boring or unexciting and make it a joy to read.
Filled with amusing little sketches and footnotes which frequently made me laugh out loud and interrupt my husband to make him read them too, Page really brought the history to life and made me eager continue learning.
I also really enjoyed the fact-files of major ‘characters’ of the reformation, styled like top-trump cards (if you remember those), they really helped to reinforce the people in my mind, so many names that I’d never heard of but are central to shaping the way that we worship in our Church now.
Starting this book, I am ashamed to say that I knew absolutely nothing of the reformation, I had always thought that the protestant/catholic split was instigated by Henry VIII, but the history of it starts much before that and doesn’t even originate in England. I received a really worthwhile history lesson from this book, and it was way more fun than high-school history lessons!
As much as I was sad for the book to be over, I liked this quote that Page used in his wrapping up chapter:
“One of the key lessons to be learned from the reformation is this: if you ask people to think for themselves, don’t be surprised when they do exactly that”
At 464 pages, it’s a lengthy book, but because of the writing style, it felt like it was over all too soon. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more about the reformation and I’m very glad I’ve got 2 other Nick Page books to move onto next!