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Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair
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Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Delving into a netherworld of treachery and intrigue in Elizabethan London, John Bossy attempts to solve a centuries-old mystery: who was "Fagot," the spy working within the French embassy in London to subvert Catholic efforts to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and her government? Bossy speculates on the spy's identity in a book that makes a major contribution to the political a ...more
Paperback, 3rd Edition, 320 pages
Published August 11th 2002 by Yale University Press (first published 1991)
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Pete daPixie
The cover is festooned with very positive reviews. 'This is a marvelous book', New York Review of Books. 'A very real tour de force by a very clever historian', Times Literary Supplement. 'It is quite simply brilliant', Country Life. 'This book is a detective story told by a masterly historian', New Statesman.... 'I think I'm being generous with three stars', PetedaPixie.
Giordano Bruno I knew as a contemporary of Galileo, something of a scientist, who was loud and proud with his firm belief in t
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Diana Sandberg
Well. Historical sleuthing, a really quite sensational discovery (or, at least, opinion) from the author about a Great Historical Figure, lots of fascinating detail. Also, lots of boring detail and a very poor notion of how to construct such a work. He almost lost me: I had read 65 pages, been given a wealth of detail that didn't seem to point to anything in particular, been given an outline of Bruno's time in England and further info that included his death, and was still wondering what any of ...more
Lyn Elliott
I really wanted to enjoy what sounded like fascinating historical detective work but bogged down in detail and gave up.
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John Bossy was born in 1933 and educated mainly by the Second World War, the Society of Jesus and the University of Cambridge. Since then he has lived and lectured in London and Belfast, has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and since 1979 has been Professor (lately Emeritus) of History at the University of York.
More about John Bossy...
Christianity in the West, 1400-1700 (Opus) Under the Molehill: An Elizabethan Spy Story English Catholic Community 1570-1850 Giordano Bruno e o Mistério da Embaixada Essays Presented To Michael Roberts: Sometime Professor Of Modern History In The Queen's University Of Belfast

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“In trying to find out what Bruno thought of his priesthood, we now have a serious problem which we did not have before. In Venice, he told his fellow-prisoners that he was an enemy of the mass, and thought transubstantiation a ridiculous idea and the Catholic ritual bestial and blasphemous. He compared the elevation of the host to hanging somebody on a gallows, or perhaps to lifting him up on a pitchfork. He told somebody who had dreamt of going to mass that that was a terrible omen; and he performed a mock mass with Ovid's Art of Love instead of a missal. He joked about hungry priests going off from mass to a good breakfast. He spoke particularly ill of the mass as a sacrifice, and said that Abel, the archetype of the sacrificing priest, was a criminal butcher who was rightly killed by the vegetarian Cain. A phrase he used elsewhere, apparently about Christ's passion and not directly about the mass itself, seems nevertheless to express rather exactly his attitude to is: he called it 'some kind of a cabbalistic tragedy'.” 1 likes
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