Queen Victoria’s Archbishops of Canterbury:


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Book Details

Format: Paperback (390 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-056-2

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“Worthy of a Netflix series ... entertaining and readable”
The Church Times

During the reign of Queen Victoria, the Church of England changed remarkably, and many of the institutions that are now a significant part of its life began to take shape. In six engaging mini-biographies, Michael Chandler introduces William Howley (1828–1848), John Bird Sumner (1848–1862), Charles Thomas Longley (1862–1868), Archibald Campbell Tait (1868–1882), Edward White Benson (1883–1896), and Frederick Temple (1896–1902)​, the six men who served as Archbishops of Canterbury under Queen Victoria. He maps out how they not only responded to the ecclesial, social and political concerns of the time, but transformed the Church of England from an established church that largely served its own country to being part of a global church of which former colonies could be equal partners.

Michael Chandler is an historian and author of several books on the Church of England in the nineteenth century. He is a former Dean of Ely and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

The Victorians were a weird bunch, imbued with an enthusiasm, energy, and obsessiveness that seem alien to our louche late-Elizabethan ways. Their Archbishops, as Michael Chandler’s excellent new study shows, were no exception. … The supporting characters are larger than life and worthy of any novel (or Crown-like Netflix series). … This is an exceptionally well-researched piece of scholarship, and is also entertaining and readable. Until we get our Netflix series, this, for me, will sit worthily alongside Chadwick et al. as an annal of the mix of seriousness, strangeness, and the sublime which was the Victorian Church.

Fergus Butler-Gallie, The Church Times

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