The Friars: A History of the British Medieval Friars
Book Guild, 1999 - 377 pages
The medieval friar, an innovation of the Christian church in the thirteenth century, began a time of spiritual renewal in the flagging religious establishment across Europe with a compelling combination of administrative flair and missionary zeal. Kenneth Rowlands' appealing history shows how men of religious conviction, intellectuals, good honest men, even erratic and rather odd people, became friars - sometimes giving up considerable wealth and social position to minister to the sick and poor. Throughout the Middle Ages in Britain, friars achieved a high standing in the community, exercising an influence out of all proportion to their numbers. By the time Henry VIII disbanded them in England and Wales in the sixteenth century, the mendicant order of friars was in decline. In these pages their lives and works are remembered and their contribution to society accorded its proper place.
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