This book explores the culture of conformity to the Church of England and its liturgy in the period after the Reformation and before the outbreak of the Civil War. It provides a necessary corrective to our view of religion in the period by a serious exploration of the laity who conformed, out of conviction, to the Book of Common Prayer. Through the use of church court records and parliamentary petitions, the views of lay people are examined - those who were neither 'puritan' nor 'Laudian', yet were committed to the reformed liturgy and episcopacy out of sincere belief, and not as a matter of political expediency.
'All those who love the Church of England and are fascinated by its complex history will find things to enjoy in this book. It is a work of scholarship which lights up dark corners far beyond its apparent specialism.' Robert Runcie, The Daily Telegraph '... a remarkable book ... the force of [Dr Maltby's] argument is inescapable. No historian of the Reformation, of the rise of Anglicanism, or of popular religion in the localities, can afford to neglect her work.' John Guy, The Church Times