G. R. Elton’s Conclusion To England Under The Tudors

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G. R. Elton’s England under the Tudors, flanked by Keen’s England in the Later Middle Ages and Treveylan’s England under the Stuarts.

I have just finished reading the Folio edition of England Under the Tudors, by G. R. Elton. Here is his conclusion:

“A country once ravaged by internal war and depression was now, despite external war and more depression, on the way to becoming a major power. Peace at home had brought order and law, a rising prosperity, a spreading over the globe, great things in the arts, a remarkable people. No one would pretend the sixteenth century was an ideal age. Poverty and disease and cruelty abounded; life was hard and often short for high and low alike. Its politics were too often violent and repulsive, though also full of intelligent vigour. Its religion, though in the end more sincere than that of the late middle ages, also indulged in more intolerance and persecution. Its people were too often hard of face and harder of heart. Yet the state was built anew, government restored and reformed, enterprise encouraged, faith rekindled. The good past survived, the bad past died. In those hundred and twenty years of unremitting labour by monarchs and ministers, merchants and mariners, gentlemen and yeomen, writers and poets and thinkers, a new and greater England emerged from the day-to-day turmoil of life.” p. 470