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God's Traitors


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A true story of plots, priest-holes and persecution and one family's battle to save Catholicism in Reformation England.

About the Author

Jessie Childs was born in London in 1976 and read history at Brasenose College, Oxford, where she took a first. Her first book Henry VIII's Last Victim won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography. Her second book God's Traitors was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Book Prize, and won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, 2015. Jessie frequently appears on TV and radio, and has written and reviewed for many publications, including the Telegraph, the Guardian, Literary Review, Standpoint and the Times Literary Supplement. She is one of the judges for the 2016 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History. She lives in Hammersmith, London, with her husband and two daughters. www.jessiechilds.com


A triumph of story-telling, backed by first-rate research -- Antonia Fraser
Absorbing, exciting and relevant -- Ben MacIntyre * The Times Book of the Week *
Richly packed, absorbing... A parade of extraordinary characters -- Simon Callow * Guardian *
Thrilling * New Statesman *
God's Traitors, with its crisp prose and punctilious scholarship, brilliantly recreates a world of heroism and holiness in Tudor England... It is little short of a triumph -- Ian Thomson * Financial Times *
Beautifully written... Hollywood could not have made it up -- Professor JJ Scarisbrick
Brilliant * Wall Street Journal *
Truly excellent... God's Traitors crosses the divide between popular and academic history. It raises issues of some real historical importance -- Michael Questier * Spectator *
This vivid, minutely researched and brilliantly original history is a much-needed look at the dark side of the Elizabethan age -- Dan Jones * Sunday Times *
Excellent... An engaging history of English papists, filled with memorable episodes * The Economist *
In the quality of her research and sensitive handling of issues that remain raw to this day, Jessie Childs succeeds in evoking 'the lived experience of anti-Catholicism' as few have done before... Childs's language is lively and inventive... By picturing Elizabethan recusants in all their complexity, Jessie Childs has enabled them to speak for themselves at last -- John Cooper * Literary Review *
Superb and groundbreaking... It isn't possible in the space of a review to do justice to the breadth and depth of Childs' research and insight; but they illuminate the entire landscape of English life...a superlative, flawlessly written book... Childs' description of an exorcism at Lord Vaux's house in Hackney...is one of the most extraordinary things I have ever read -- Matthew Lyons, author of The Favourite
Plots and priest holes abound -- Caroline Sanderson * Bookseller *
Childs is a lucid, passionate writer and she gets under the skin of her subject... It's not often that history books get the balance of expert research and storytelling with chutzpah just right but Childs has managed it with this informative and entertaining book -- Doug Johnstone * Big Issue *
[A] moving historical account... Childs paints a vivid, sometimes even humorous picture of devout Catholics keeping up appearances -- Daisy Dunn * Daily Mail *

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