Saturday, March 31, 2012

Walsingham and Anti-Catholicism

A book review by R.J. Stove.
This grand confusion can readily be observed, in any period, among those who spend too much time in secret police work. In a sense, it redounds perversely to Walsingham’s credit that even as his tactics involved recruiting agents, suborning double-agents, and if need be hiring the occasional triple-agent, his strategy remained clear: keeping Elizabeth alive and the “Whore of Babylon” at bay. He defended in theological terms not only the common-or-garden pursuit of recusant priests, but also the celebrated forgeries by which he destroyed Mary Queen of Scots: “I see the wicked creature,” he assured the Earl of Leicester, “ordained of God to punish us for our sins and unthankfulness.” (Read entire review.)

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