Newly published - This Sainted Queen; the final book in a wonderful and much-needed trilogy of historical truth-seeking
Bella d’Abrera is a London-based historian with specialist expertise in the history of the Catholic Church, the relationship between Church and State, and religious dissent in society. In 2003 she was awarded a Ph.D. in History from the University of Cambridge. She also has an M.A. in Spanish from the University of St Andrews and a B.A. in History and Spanish from Monash University, Melbourne.
She has already written The King with a Pope in his Belly and Papists, Spaniards & Other Strangers .She draws upon impeccable sources to challenge conventional assumptions about this turbulent period in the history of England. She makes the persuasive argument that far from being being a popular uprising, the Reformation was a social and cultural revolution imposed by the State with violent force upon the populace. 1500 years of Catholic culture was uprooted and replaced with a New Order based upon the revolutionary principles which had been introduced by Martin Luther into Germany. These principles were adopted by self-interested princes, deputies, and like-minded autocrats throughout Europe and became the direct cause of religious and social upheaval in those countries where they took hold.
Dr d’Abrera manages to bring to life the key events and conflicts of the time by exploring the thoughts and motivations of the protagonists. She exposes the many examples of human fallibilities and contrasts these with acts of unspeakable bravery and heroism. But the terrifying contemporary accounts of hardship and persecution are intermittently alleviated with a dose of dry humour. Her style is akin to journalistic reportage, and her books are both compact and welcomingly accessible to the non-historian.