Preface; 1. The importance of religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Margaret Spufford; 2. The social and economic status of the later Lollards Derek Plumb; 3. A gathered church? Lollards and their society Derek Plumb; 4. The origins, function, and status of the office of churchwarden, with particular reference to the diocese of Ely Eric Carlson; 5. The gravestone of Thomas Lawrence revisited, or the Family of Love and the local community in Balsham, 1560-1630 Christopher Marsh; 6. Piety in the pedlar's pack: continuity and change, 1578-1630 Tessa Watt; 7. The mobility and descent of dissenters in the Chiltern Hundreds Michael Frearson, Nesta Evans and Peter Spufford; 8. The social and economic status of post-Restoration dissenters, 1660-1725 Bill Stevenson; 9. The social integration of post-Restoration dissenters, 1660-1725 Bill Stevenson; 10. Critical conclusion Patrick Collinson; Appendices.
A 1995 study of religious belief and practice in England in the early modern period.
Review of the hardback: 'The World of Rural Dissenters is of
central importance not only to historians of religion but to all
who are interested in the nature of early modern societies and in
how to investigate them. The group directed by Margaret Spufford
have settled many an old argument and through their expertise and
enthusiasm have produced a challenging agenda for new research.'
David Hey, The Agricultural History Review
"...an absorbing and engaging collection of essays about much more than religious dissent in early modern England." Canadian Journal of History
"Such a richly textured and nuanced work could only be done in a country where the level of historical interest and sophistication is high, the scholars involved are known to and respected by each other, and where there is a press like Cambridge's willing to devote major resources to its publication. All involved richly deserve thanks and congratulations....This is an excellent book, densely researched, cogently presented, yet quite readable and informative. Any student dealing with the social background of religion in early modern England will have to come to terms with it. And we will all know more when they do." H. Larry Ingle, H-Net Book Review
"...although the work is intended for a scholarly audience, it is easily accessible to a general reader interested in understanding better the social effects of early modern dissent." History
"...comes together quite nicely into an integrated whole although its various essays are also capable of standing on their own....Overall, this book is an outstanding piece of collaborative historical research." Ronald Fritze, Sixteenth Century Journal
"This is a provocative book which will obviously provoke rethinking of assumptions about the religious sectarians." Seventeenth-Century News
"This is a rich, diffuse, and suggestive collection of fifteen essays by ten contributors arranged in ten chapters." Albion
"...this is a fascinating book and deserves to be widely read." William B. Robison, The Journal of Modern History