The Excommunication of Elizabeth I

Faith, Politics, and Resistance in Post-Reformation England, 1570-1603


In The Excommunication of Elizabeth I, Aislinn Muller examines the excommunication and deposition of Queen Elizabeth I of England by the Roman Catholic Church, and its political afterlife during her reign. Muller shows that Elizabeth’s excommunication was a crucial turning point for both Catholics and Protestants, one that irrevocably changed attitudes towards the queen, widened political participation and resistance, and posed a destabilising threat to her regime. The Excommunication of Elizabeth I demonstrates how this event exacerbated religious tensions in England’s foreign and domestic politics, and how Elizabeth’s conflict with the papacy shaped the development of anti-Catholicism in post-Reformation England.

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Aislinn Muller obtained her Ph.D. in History at the University of Cambridge (2017). Her work on religious politics in post-Reformation England has appeared in publications such as British Catholic History and Studies in Church History. This is her first book.
List of Abbreviations
List of Figures
Note on the Text

1. The Excommunication of Elizabeth I in International Politics
2. Transmitting the Excommunication of Elizabeth I
3. Spreading the Word? Regnans in Excelsis in Protestant Discourse
4. The Excommunication in Foreign and Domestic Policy
5. Political Engagement, Subversion, and Resistance in England and Ireland


Anyone interested in Elizabethan politics and anyone interested in post-Reformation English Catholicism and anti-Catholicism.