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"THE EVE OF THE REFORMATION.'
Opinions of the Press.
"Dr. Gasquet has produced a book which will set many men thinking. He done an excellent piece of work, and has offered to students of history a highly interesting problem. He writes as usual in a lucid and attractive style. The controversial element is so subordinated to the scholarly setting forth of simple facts and the adroit marshalling of evidence, that one might read the volume through without being tempted to ask what the author's creed is, or whether he has any, and when one gets to the end one is inclined to wish that there were a little more."—Athenceum.
"Dom Gasquet is one of the few writers on controversial subjects whom it is always a pleasure to read, perhaps because he never writes in a controversial spirit, nor, so far as appears, for a controversial end. . . . He has done good service to the cause of historical truth by insisting that the church in England on the eve of the Reformation was not so hopelessly corrupt as the fancy of the popular Protestant has painted it."—Guardian.
"We wish this collection of intensely interesting and illuminative studies could be placed in the hands of that great crowd of Englishmen who can only think and speak of the Reformation as 'blessed,' 'a new Pentecost,' an emergence from a period when everything in religion was dark, and morality almost non-existent. . . . Remembering the limits imposed by our able author, no one can read his chapters without profit. He has shown that the charges of corruption brought against the churchmen, clerical and lay, of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, are either gross exaggerations or ignorant calumnies."—Church Times.
"A group of essays representing studies in the life and thought of the English people in the period immediately preceding the Reformation. Its object is to enable us mentally to picture for ourselves the general attitude of the nation towards Catholicism in the years which went before the rejection of the Roman jurisdiction by Henry VIII. . . . The work of sifting, examining, and testing the new evidence is now made accessible to scholars for the first time."— Tablet.
"It would be difficult to overrate the value of Dr. Gasquet's researches. There is no disrespect to his non-Catholic fellow-workers in the same field of inquiry in saying that he enjoys advantages which they do not. In spite of their care they must inevitably, from time to time, fall into mistakes such as a foreigner makes when he attempts to describe English institutions. In conclusion we can only express our belief that Dr. Gasquet's latest volume will fully maintain the reputation he gained by Henry VIII and the English Monasteries."— Weekly Register.
"The Eve of the Reformation is in its way as important as his epochmaking book on Monastic Life in Reformation days, and it will, we feel sure, be read eagerly by the people as well as by students of history."— Catholic Times.
"Ce beau livre du ben£dictin anglais Dom Gasquet est une digne suite des solides travaux dont il a depuis dix ans dote a la science historique. . . , Travaillant toujoursdu premiere main et dans un esprit foncierement critique, il s'est fait, pour sa franchise et son savoir, une place a c6te des Stubbs et des Freeman."—Universite Catholique (Revue cChistoire Eccles.).
"Even when one differs from Dr. Gasquet's conclusions, there is no gainsaying his learning, acuteness, and, what is best in a controversialist, his desire to be fair. All these virtues are present in The Eve of the Reformation. . . . Future historians must meet seriously his sustained argument that when the great change took place 'so far from the church Jeing a merely effete or corrupt agency in the commonwealth, it was an active power for good in a very wide sense.' "—The Times.
"There are few Roman Catholic writers who, at least in England, have a higher reputation for fairness and learning than the Rev. Dr. F. A. Gasquet. His new book, The Eve of the Reformation, will be sure to attract general attention, not merely on account of its subject, but also, and more especially, because of its method. Unlike his Henry VIII and the Monasteries, it is not a controversial work. It is a study of the literature, art, and various activities of the epoch, with a view to show what the English people were thinking and saying, and what their life was, before the great change took place."—Daily News.
"A new book from the pen of Father Gasquet is an interesting event to all students of history. The present generation has learned from him what an earlier generation learned from Dr. Lingard, that a man who is a born historian does not write with any less ability, knowledge, and candour, because he happens also to be a Catholic priest. And the volume now before us will assuredly add to its author's reputation. . . .
"The whole book is deserving of careful study, and is especially opportune at a time when the true significance of the Reformation is being discussed, and that often with more ardour than learning."—Daily Chronicle.
"The book affords much curious information as to a bygone age. Especially excellent is the description of parish life, with the Church House as a centre of parochial work, religious and charitable, while various guilds, sometimes under priestly influence, sometimes much opposed to it, there met on common ground."—Mor?iing Post.
"This is a book of substantial historical learning, set forth with a peculiar clearness and grace of style. It is made up of a series of studies of the religious life and thought of this country in the years immediately preceding the Reformation. Its author is a Roman Catholic divine, and, as is to be expected in such a case, writes with no particular sympathy for the reformed doctrine. It is only fair to add that there is no trace of theological hatred in the essays, and that the author puts his questions and examines his evidence temperately and impartially. —Scotsman.
"Whatever Father Gasquet writes is sure to command attention nowadays; and let us hope that it commands the attention of English churchmen and Protestants generally, not less than persons of the writer's own communion. ... In correcting old misconceptions Father Gasquet, without professing to draw anything like a complete picture of the age, lays before us a considerable body of sound and interesting information to assist us in realizing some of its salient features."—D R. J AM ES Ga I RdnEr in the New Era.
"To the names of Brewer and Gairdner we must add, in the judgement of all serious critics, that of the genial Benedictine, Dr. Gasquet, whose painstaking research, clearness of style, and self control in speech, have made his writings popular, while not ceasing to be models of sound historical inquiry." —rev. Dr. William Barry in the Bookman.