No idea about the debate, but the clear winner in my bleg for a good readable account of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries was Eamon Duffy’s Stripping of the Altars. Five readers recommended it. Duffy’s book looks to have an anti-Reformation tilt, but that’s OK—any book on this topic is going to lean one way or another. Duffy looks like a real scholar, who can write; that’s what I was looking for.
- The Dissolution of the Religious Orders in Ireland Under Henry VIII by Brendan Bradshaw.
- The Crisis of Parliaments: English History, 1509-1660 (Short Oxford History of the Modern World Series) by Conrad Russell (son of Bertie).
- Religious Orders in England, Vol.3 by Dom David Knowles.
- The relevant volume in Philip Hughes The Reformation in England.
- The relevant lecture(s) in Dale Hoak’s Age of Henry VIII course from The Teaching Company.
- Clare Asquith’s book about Shakespeare’s religion, though this looks a bit peripheral.
- In fiction, The King’s Achievement by Robert Hugh Benson.
Many thanks to all who contributed. I shall start with Duffy, then see if I want to go further.