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Foxe's Book of Martyrs, A History of the Lives

Foxe's Book of Martyrs, A History of the Lives by John Foxe

The Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, is an English Protestant account of the persecutions of Protestants, many of whom had died for their beliefs within the decade immediately preceding its first publication. It was first published by John Day, in 1563. Lavishly illustrated with many woodcuts, it was the largest publishing project undertaken in Britain up to that time. Commonly known as, “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”, the work’s full title begins with “Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, Touching Matters of the Church.” There were many subsequent editions, by Day, and by other editors down through the years. Foxe’s original work was enormous (the second edition filling two heavy folio volumes with a total of 2,300 pages, estimated to be twice as long as Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” This edition is much abridged from Foxe’s original.

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