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Dogger Little Great
About the book
  • Published: 4 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409014249
  • Imprint: RHCP Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 32

Dogger Little Great


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In this fascinating book Roy Strong tells the dramatic story of the English parish church, from the first temporary buildings erected in Anglo-Saxon times to its uncertain future in the twenty-first century. Starting with the Christianisation of Britain by missionaries from Ireland and Rome, he takes us on a journey through the Middle Ages, when elaboration and beauty in church art and architecture reached their peak in the building boom of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He describes in vivid detail the rituals and ceremonies at the heart of the parish community – the processions and celebrations of the church year, the public piety and rites of passage that guided parishioners through their lives and, most of all, the miracle of the Mass performed every Sunday.
The rich spirituality of medieval Catholicism was destroyed by the cataclysm of the ‘long Reformation’ in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which replaced the splendour of Catholic ritual and its adoration of the Sacrament with a simple service that centred on the preaching of the Word; moreover, it abolished age-old concepts of devotion and salvation. From the mid-seventeenth century reformers tried to repair the damage caused by the iconoclasm of the Reformation by re-introducing images, decoration and ceremonial to the average country church. From the ‘beauty of holiness’, advocated by Archbishop Laud in the 1630s, to the liturgical revival of the Oxford Movement in the nineteenth century, they looked back to the Middle Ages for a tradition of worship that engaged all the senses.
At the same time, we witness the gradual dissolution of the parish church as the social hub of the local community; first the Catholics, then the Dissenters, and later the Methodists would leave the church and form their own congregations. In addition, the disintegration of the rural community from the early nineteenth century would change the social setting of the English country church for ever. Yet despite the dramatic changes that took place inside the parish church over the centuries, the building remained a symbol of continuity, etched into the tableau of the English countryside. Over the last few decades, however, the building itself has come under threat and Roy Strong concludes that, in order to survive, the country church will need to find a new role within a changed countryside.
Roy Strong’s little history is an elegy for the English country church – and a passionate plea for its preservation.

  • Pub date: 4 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409014249
  • Imprint: RHCP Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 32

About the Author

Shirley Hughes

Shirley was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied fashion and dress design at Liverpool Art School, before continuing her studies at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She then embarked on a career as a freelance illustrator in London, where she still lives today. She illustrated other writers' work, including Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Margaret Mahy and notably Dorothy Edwards's My Naughty Little Sister series.
Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books when her children were young. Her first book - Lucy and Tom's Day - was published in 1960, and she followed it with, among others, Dogger and the Alfie series.
Shirley Hughes has won the Other Award, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration twice, for Dogger in 1977 and for Ella's Big Chance in 2003. In 2007 Dogger was voted the public's favourite Greenaway winner of all time. Shirley received an OBE in 1999 for services to Children's Literature, and a CBE in 2017. She is the first recipient of Booktrust's Lifetime Achievement Award.

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