A Spanish Jesuit’s History of the English Reformation
Edited by Spencer J. Weinreich
In 1588, the Spanish Jesuit Pedro de Ribadeneyra published a history of the English Reformation, which he continued to revise until his death in 1611. Spencer J. Weinreich’s translation is the first English edition of the History, one fully alive to its metamorphoses over two decades. Weinreich’s introduction explores the text’s many dimensions—propaganda for the Spanish Armada, anti-Protestant polemic, Jesuit hagiography, consolation amid tribulation—and assesses Ribadeneyra as a historian. The extensive annotations anchor Ribadeneyra’s narrative in the historical record and reconstruct his sources, methods, and revisions. The History, long derided as mere propaganda, emerges as remarkable evidence of the centrality of historiography to the intellectual, theological, and political battles of early modern Europe.