Marshall, Peter 1964-
MARSHALL, Peter 1964-
PERSONAL: Born 1964. Education: University College, Oxford, M.A., 1986, D.Phil., 1990.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, England.
CAREER: Historian, writer, and editor. Ampleforth College, York, England, history master, 1990–94; University of Warwick, Coventry, England, lecturer in history, 1994–2001, senior lecturer in history, 2001–04, director of undergraduate studies in history, 2003–, reader in history, 2004–. Served as external examiner at Melbourne, 1999, St. Andrews, 2001, Birmingham, 2001, and De Montford, 2002.
MEMBER: Royal Historical Society (fellow).
(Editor) The Impact of the English Reformation, 1500–1640, Arnold (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor and contributor, with Bruce Gordon) The Place of the Dead: Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
(Editor and contributor, with Alec Ryrie) The Beginnings of English Protestantism, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Reformation England, 1480–1642, Arnold (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor to books, including Protestant Identity and History in Sixteenth-Century Europe: Volume I: The Medieval Inheritance, edited by B. Gordon, Aldershot, 1996; Reformations Old and New: Essays on the Socio-Economic Impact of Religious Change, c. 1470–1630, edited by B. Kumin, Aldershot, 1996; Fear in Early Modern Society, edited by W. G. Naphy and P. Roberts, Manchester University Press, 1997; Early Modern Ghosts, edited by J. Newton, Durham, 2002; and Religion and Superstition in Reformation Europe, edited by H. Parish and W. G. Naphy, Manchester University Press, 2002. Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Historical Journal, Yorkshire Archaelogical Journal, Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques, English Historical Review, and Past and Present.
SIDELIGHTS: Peter Marshall is an historian interested in Reformation England, particularly aspects of the religious belief and practice of that period. In The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, Marshall focuses on the Catholic priesthood of the early sixteenth century, as it affected both the church and the community. He also discusses the effects of changes in the religious scene brought about by the Protestant Reformation and by British monarchs such as Henry VIII. One of Marshall's primary concerns is to describe what the English laypeople expected from their parish priests and how they reacted when these expectations were not met. He delves into laypeople's perceptions of the mutual obligations that existed between them and their priests as well as the priests' various functions, from confessor, teacher, celibate, and pastor to neighbor and then enemy after the period's religious reforms took root. Lucy Wooding, commenting in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, noted that the author's "detailed and finely balanced examination of the English priesthood in the age of Reformation is a superb example of the fresh insights still to be found in this enduringly contentious area." The reviewer also commented, "In both its wider perspective and its detailed perception, this work offers a rare level of insight." English Historical Review contributor Claire Cross noted that the author "makes a scholarly and nuanced contribution."
Marshall served as the editor of The Impact of the English Reformation, 1500–1640, which brings together previously published essays for a comprehensive interpretation of the English Reformation, including the sometimes neglected early part of the Reformation. Writing in the Australian Journal of Politics and History, Barry Shaw commented that "Marshall's selection is first rate, and his explanatory comments on each section are insightful and commendably unbiased." Shaw also commended Marshall's introduction, noting that it "succinctly charts the undulating course of the debate … and posits a number of challenging and largely unanswered questions." In a review in the Canadian Journal of History, Charles L. Hamilton called Marshall's introduction "excellent" and noted that "this is an excellent volume in which the range of opinions and scholarship can only be hinted at in a review."
Marshal also co-edited with Bruce Gordon The Place of the Dead: Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. The book's fifteen essays discuss the cultural views and attitudes concerning death in various parts of Europe, from England and France to Tuscany and Transylvania. The essays focus on a wide range of issues, including attitudes toward corpses, burial patterns and disputes, church architecture, sermons, treatment of dead infants, and ghosts. Marshall also contributes an essay discussing Reformation controversies concerning the geography of the spirit world. Church History contributor Ralph Houlbrooke commented, "Marshall's chapter stands out as a penetrating and suggestive original analysis of changing beliefs." Writing in Shakespeare Studies, Katherine O. Acheson commented that the essays "are all very good, although some are better suited for specialists in the cultures and periods of the titles of the essays, while some generate insights of more general use to the medieval or early modern scholar of other times and places." Philip F. Riley noted in History: Review of New Books that the volume "contains path-breaking essays that illuminate important themes in social, religious, and family history."
The Beginnings of English Protestantism is a collection of essays edited by Marshall and Alec Ryrie, both of whom also contributed essays. The book focuses on the Protestant view of the religious turmoil that arose in England during the early-and mid-sixteenth century. The various essays explore such issues as gender roles, the impact of advances in printing, and the instability within Protestantism itself. Writing in History: Review of New Books, Joseph Cope called the collection "a stimulating and valuable resource for advanced students and scholars of the English reformations." Albion contributor Baird Tipson found that "serious students of the sixteenth century will deepen their understanding of the early English Reformation by careful study of one or more of these essays."
As the author of Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England, Marshall relies heavily on religious tracts and sermons to provide a comprehensive study of how the English Reformation impacted the status of the dead. He writes about how Protestants viewed both death and life after death and discusses revolutionary departures from traditional Catholic beliefs. For example, Protestants maintained that there was no such thing as purgatory. Rather, they believed that people either went to heaven or hell and felt that purgatory and prayers for the dead were mere superstitions exploited by the [Catholics] … to deceive people. Marshall discusses these issues in the context of social and cultural transformation using both a chronological and topical approach. David J. Kovarovic, writing in History: Review of New Books, called Marshall's book a "sharply focused and surprisingly readable account" as well as "an original and important contribution to English Reformation studies."
In Reformation England, 1480–1642, Marshall takes an overall look at the Reformation, from the historical debates over the Reformation's extension to the breakdown of the Civil War to his primary scholarly interests in Catholicism and its virtual replacement by a Protestant theology and sociology. Writing in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Felicity Heal called Marshall's study "text that offers students an accessible guide through the quicksands of Reformation scholarship." Heal also wrote that "the chronological range is ambitious, the secondary literature covered is extraordinarily extensive and the judgements meted out are measured and sensible."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albion, winter, 2004, Baird Tipson, review of The Beginnings of English Protestantism, p. 635; winter, 2004, Donae Tankard, review of Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England, p. 633.
Australian Journal of Politics and History, March, 1999, Barry Shaw, review of The Impact of the English Reformation, 1500–1640, p. 129.
Canadian Journal of History, August, 2000, Charles L. Hamilton, review of The Impact of the English Reformation, 1500–1640, p. 319.
Church History, December, 2002, Ralph Houlbrooke, review of The Place of the Dead: Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, p. 884; September, 2003, Donald K. McKim, review of The Beginnings of English Protestantism, p. 656; December, 2004, William S. Stafford, review of Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England, p. 859.
English Historical Review, November, 1996, Claire Cross, review of The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, p. 1266; June, 2001, S.J. Gunn, review of The Place of the Dead, p. 711; April, 2004, Christopher Haigh, review of The Beginnings of English Protestantism, p. 508.
History: Review of New Books, summer, 2000, Philip F. Riley, review of The Place of the Dead, p. 168; fall, 2002, Joseph Cope, review of The Beginnings of English Protestantism, p. 21; winter, 2003, David J. Kovarovic, review of Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England, p. 69.
History Today, July, 1995, Robert Peters, review of The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, p. 54.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April, 1996, Lucy Wooding, review of The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, p. 379; April, 2004, Felicity Heal, review of The Beginnings of English Protestantism, p. 394; July, 2004, Felicity Heal, review of Reformation England, 1480–1642, p. 590.
Journal of Modern History, September, 1997, Johann P. Sommerville, review of The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, p. 579.
Journal of Theological Studies, April, 1998, Judith Maltby, review of The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, p. 457.
Shakespeare Studies, annual, 2002, Katherine O. Acheson, review of The Place of the Dead, p. 242.
Warwick University Web site, http://www.warwick.ac.uk/ (February 23, 2005), "Peter Marshall."