Giveaway – God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England


Jessie Childs bookWorld Book Day seems a fitting day for the release of the UK paperback edition of God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England by Jessie Childs.

I reviewed the hardback edition back in May 2014 and said “This is the best history book I’ve read in the last few months. I just can’t say enough good things about it. I’ve raved about it to friends, family and contacts, and read passages out to my husband and anyone who would listen. It is fantastic!” and I still stand by that. Click here to read my full review. It really is an excellent book on Catholics living in Elizabeth I’s reign and shows another side to Elizabeth I’s reign without demonizing Elizabeth and her government. Brilliant.

To celebrate the release of the paperback version, Jessie Childs is kindly offering a signed copy to one lucky Anne Boleyn Files follower. All you have to do is comment below before midnight Wednesday 11 March saying why you’d like to win this book. One comment will be picked at random and I will email the winner. This giveaway is international. Please do share news of this giveaway to anyone you know who’d be interested in this book. This book deserves to be read!

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94 thoughts on “Giveaway – God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England”
  1. I would love to be able to finally win something! Huge fan of your sites, and Twitter account…keep up the awesome job you’re doing!

  2. I’m a final year undergraduate history student at the University of Southamton in the UK. I have a great love of the Early Modern, reflected in my Special Subject on Charles I and the Civil War and my dissertation on witches’ familiar spirits from 1508 to 1648. So far though my studies have tended to focus upon the earlier Tudors or the early Stuarts, and on Protestantism and puritans. This is something I hope to redress when I return for my Masters study next academic year. I hope this book, which I have heard several great remarks about, will help me achieve this by bringing me back into the world of Elizabeth and introducing me to the world of the Catholic on Elizabethan England.

  3. I’d like to win this book because I love reading about Elizabethan England. I also find the religious conflict of the period absorbing, particularly the paranoia about Catholicism.

  4. Hi,
    ever since I was an Au Pair of twenty, I was fascinated by the Tudors (and the Stuarts). It still is my favorite time period and I am reading everything I can about it.
    However, living in Germany, it´s a bit harder to keep up on new releases. It was easier when I lived in London and Bristol.
    It would be fab to win a book because I know a little about torture being used with the consent of Elizabeth I but I´d love to find out more.
    Kind regards

  5. I am going to a talk in March to hear Jessie speak about this book,it would be nice to read it before i go.It sounds a very exciting subject.Looking forward to seeing her at Sheffield.xx

  6. I’d like to read this book because I’d like to learn more about religious persecution in Elizabethan England. I think this is a much neglected topic in popular science, which mostly focuses on the persecution of Protestants in Henry VIII’s and Mary I’s reign.

  7. I have been studying the English reformation, Magna Carta, and their relationships during the Tudor time period. I would like to read this book so that I have s clear picture of what was happening during Elizabeth I’s reign.

  8. i would love to add this book to my collection!! It incorporates my two favorite subjects, History and Religious Studies!!

  9. I have this in the Kindle Edition and I can heartily endorse Claire’s recommendation. I was drawn to the book as I am from a recusant family myself. It manages to be detailed and move along with pace and hold your interest at the same time, and avoids bashing Queen Elizabeth as Claire mentioned. Superb.

  10. I would love to win this book, it’s been on my wish list since you reviewed it last May! Thanks for a chance at it with this great giveaway!

  11. I’m a beginner when it comes to this events in history…i’m interested to learn more and would love to give it a try.

  12. Am living in a VERY small town in the Karoo, (South Africa) we are a day’s drive away from the nearest big centre and book shops which is one of the reasons I am an avid follower of your page. Would love to win this particular book as I doubt the book shop in our nearest city would have it. Thank you.

  13. I would love this, it has been on my wishlist for a while and my wishlist is LOOOOONG (Tudor/Mediaeval history obsession) – it looks like a fascinating read!

  14. I would LOVE to win this amazing book for two reasons: first of all, I am from Mexico
    and am a Tudor fan…I have read about them and used to teach British Literature, and made it a point to talk about the Tudors to my Mexican students.
    And lastly, IT IS MY 34th BIRTHDAY TODAY… And it would be a fantastic gift for me!!

  15. I would love to win a copy of this as I have heard really good things on various sites and also I am very fascinated with this particular period in Tudor history.

  16. I would love to win a copy of this book. I have just started getting into Elizabeth’s reign in my study of the Tudors. She was a fascinating woman and I would enjoy the opportunity to learn more about her. Thank you for the giveaway.

  17. I’d love to win this book – it sounds like a fascinating read. Also, my Tudor book collection consists of more about the earlier Tudors – mostly the reign of Henry VIII and Lady Jane Grey. It would be great to learn more about Elizabeth’s reign!

  18. I have a great love of all things about the Tudors. Elizabeth I changed the British Monarchy and gained the loyalty of her people by not judging their faith but their actions. A most interesting Queen of England. I sometimes wonder if I was born in the wrong era. LOL
    Thank you Claire, for yet another book I will add to by wish list.

  19. Elizabeth is my favourite Tudor. I like to read anything and everything about her. This book looks an excellent read.

  20. This would be just the book for me for I am really interested both in he period and the relationship between religion/ideology and terror in general

  21. Don’t need to win a free copy. It will be remarkable for someone to be honest about the bold soaked reign of terri against Catholics but not imp ace one’s opinion of the Queen and her staff. Anything that frees Elizabeth has to free Mary…but that would fly in the face of jingoistic prejudices and I just don’t see that happening any time soon. 🙂

    1. Meant I don’t need a free one as I will get a copy on my now here if published in the US…I can pay people for their efforts if they are worth my coin. 🙂

      1. Just to clarify, this is a signed copy not just a free copy but I can remove your comments if you don’t want to be entered into the draw. Let me know.

    2. I do apologize at the typos. Here, re-written:

      Don’t need to win a free copy. It will be remarkable for someone to be honest about the blood soaked reign of terror against Catholics but not implicate a change of one’s opinion of the Queen and her staff. Anything that frees Elizabeth has to free Mary…but that would fly in the face of jingoistic prejudices and I just don’t see that happening any time soon

  22. I just can’t read enough about Tudor history I find it so interesting and just want to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I was a history major in college but my concentration was early american modern warefare (I live in the US) but after college I really burnt out on American war history and started to get into Tudor history and pretty much all of English history.

  23. Like many of your followers, I am obsessed with Tudor history. This book would definitely compliment the arsenal of books on the topic in my private library. I would love to win it!

  24. I would love to win this book as history is my world. I love learning and reading of facts and stories …i swear i think i lived a previous life in Tudor England. unfortunately i have been so busy raising my kids i dont have extra funds to buy books. I wpuld be greatly appreciative if i won this. Thank you and God bless!

  25. I would love to read this book because I want to learn more about what it was like to be a Catholic in Elizabethan England. I have read other books Claire has recommend and she hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

  26. I’d love to read this book to learn more about Religion in England during that period. Were Catholics persecuted? Were there different Protestant tendencies? How did Elizabeth view this situation?

  27. This would be of great benefit to me at the moment, as most of our members already know I’m am busy writing a fictional book about Mary Queen of Scots. So it would give me a better understanding of how and why there was so much conflict between the Catholics and Protestants of England, especially when Mary Queen of Scots came over the border.

  28. Would love to add to my collection. Always felt Elizabeth was an agnostic but used religion to consolidate her power. She was one of the brightest leaders of her era

  29. I would love to win a copy of this book. I am an avid Tudor/Elizabethan history lover & I find this subject to be immensely interesting. I find the flow-on effect & repercussions from Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries & creation of the Church of England absolutely fascinating! The persecution of the Catholics in the reign of Elizabeth I is a part of history that deserves to be told …priest holes, Edward Oldcorne, John Gerard, Henry Garnet, Hindlip Hall, Baddesley Clinton et al, …just fascinating!!

  30. I would love to win this scholarly work by Jessie Childs as she has given us the first truly unbiased and learned account of treason and Catholics being terrorized under Elizabeth for over a generation or more. Few authors have captured the terror and suspense of those times, especially from the ordinary people. Child’s book is a masterpiece.

  31. i am truly a Tudor fan. Anne Bolyn in particular so I am very interested in the whole era. Elizabeth is my favorite. So many women before their time. Elizabeth proved herself worthy. Would love to delve into a new book!!!

  32. I am just a huge Tudor fanatic. I love all of them from King Henry VII to Elizabeth. I just can’t get enough Tudors.

  33. I absolutely would love a copy of this book. I am in love with anything Tudor related. It’s my favorite time in history and have and do read all I can get my hands on!

  34. i love reading about the Tudors. Just recently I saw the exhibit “Passages” in Springfield, MO. It included the story of Anne Boylen. The exhibit was a wonderful exhibit about the history of the Bible from the beginning to the present.

  35. So often England is described from a pretestant perspective, so it would be very interesting to read about England from the Catholics’ viewpoint. I wonder what they thought of their protestant Queen. Did they continue to justify Bloody Mary’s intolerance of protestantism? After all, Elizabeth was more merciful towards Catholics than her sister had been towards protestants. Well, until she decided upon the execution of her cousin…

  36. I would like to win the book just in case zoe does not win then I would forward it on ….. zoe Westerhoff says: March5, 2015at 12:49pm

    Am living in a VERY small town in the Karoo, (South Africa) we are a day’s drive away from the nearest big centre and book shops which is one of the reasons I am an avid follower of your page. Would love to win this particular book as I doubt the book shop in our nearest city would have it. Thank you……

  37. I have read, that more people were executed under Elizabeth I’s reign, than under her sister Mary’s. This book is a must read to learn about how Catholics lived during this very dangerous time. Thank you for the giveaway.

    1. But that wouldn’t be comparing like for like. Mary reigned for just five years and Elizabeth reigned for over 44 years. I’ve heard it said that Elizabeth had around 300 Catholics executed and Mary I had 284 Protestants executed.

      1. I actually heard Jessie talk about God’s Traitors recently and during the lecture she said around 180 Catholics were killed during Elizabeth’s reign. Mary as you said had 284 Protestants executed.So, yeah, considering the length of their reigns not like for like.

        I very much enjoyed hearing Jessie speak and will be reading my copy of God’s Traitors soon (when I finally have a free moment). I found her take on Elizabeth interesting (I do actually think she bashes Elizabeth a bit and indeed whitewashes some of the intentions Catholic conspirators, she didn’t mention in the talk that I went to that many of the priests returning to England were getting connected in to Mary Stuart related plots – but, maybe she does in the book ). However, I was shocked that she said she does actually believe that Elizabeth was sincere in her wish not to see into men’s souls (not something I thought she’d say),.

        But, what I found most interesting is the worrying parallels to our modern age. The problematic issues that the Elizabethan government were grappling with do seem to echo in our current war on terror.

  38. This sounds like a great book and I would love to win it, thanks for the amazing blog and scholarship.

  39. I would love to win this book because I am writing a master’s thesis on criminal procedure in Tudor England and have researched heresy, witchcraft, and treason against the queen, so this sounds like a fascinating read. However one of my colleagues is researching and writing about the execution of Catholics during the Tudor era and I know she would appreciate this book. If I won, I’d gift it to her.

  40. I would like to win the book, since I am very interested in Tudor times, but I do not have any books about this period. I come from Poland but Tudor history has always fascinated me, that is partially why I chose to study English Philology and when I began my studies, I could not wait for this era to be discussed during my history lectures; though I did not learn as much as I wanted and I am still thirsty for Tudor knowledge.

    I do not know much about this period, but I would like to expand my knowledge. I am Catholic but here in Poland it is and has ever been the religion of the majority, so it would be interesting to learn about how people lived when their faith was not only in minority, but also persecuted. I came across theories that Shakespeare was Catholic, so maybe the book will explain something about it, or at least show the religious background of his times.

      1. Thanks so much Claire! Can’t wait to delve into it 🙂 My fiance, a history teacher, will also enjoy this new edition to our library 🙂

  41. Its about time I won something so fingers crossed for this to add to My knowledge of “Elizabethan England.

  42. Great to win this book as I really appreciate us getting closer to the truth of this incredible period of history. I feel this work will help me further. Thank you for this chance to win -many thanks


  43. I am a HUGE history nerd, especially concerning the influence of religion on politics. I would love to have this book.

  44. I would love to continue devouring information on Tudor England. This would add to my growing collection of sources.

  45. I would love to win this book as i love tudor and elizabethen history i have done since i was about 6 years old when we learnt about them in school my favourite queen is Elizabeth the first

  46. I am trying to learn as much as possible about King Henry and his wives. I find them all fascinating and I want to soak up as much information as I can! It is so nice to finally have a passion, maybe even a “hobby,” as a stay at home mom/military wife. I would be beyond grayeful to win this copy!

  47. Recently retired and have developed an increasing interest in Tudor history and I am collecting and reading a number of related books. Would love to read this one. Sounds fascinating!

  48. I would like to win this book because I am fascinated by all things Tudor and the premise sounds interesting.

  49. I’m Polish, but I have great interest in reading in English and History of England overall. I would love to finally be able to read entire boook in English and this one seems to be a good start. I also want to take a look of Elizabeth’s reign from another point of view, not all goody-good, but with some thrill to it. That’s the best thing about History books – reading them to find out something you didn’t know before and being able to judge the Monarch based on this information and your own thoughts.
    Also here in Poland I don’t feel we learn enough in school about Tudors. We pretty much only learn that Henry VIII changed the official religion of England and that Thomas More was important and Mary I was and Elizabeth was good.
    The End.
    The Tudors are amazing Dynasty and we should learn about them more. From Henry VII’s succesion to Elizabeth’s death – it’s such an interesting time period!
    Well, good luck to everybody! Let the best comment win! 🙂

  50. I would love to win this book…My fascination with this era dictates the need to read as many books on the subject as I can lay my hands on !!!!

  51. Your rave review has made me want it!! Im avidly interested in the time period and always read this site on a daily basis as I love it. What you said makes this sound like a must read for anyone with an interest in Elizabethan history. So that would be me please! Xx

  52. Because for once I would love to win something that I actually want, and I love Elizabeth I and I love Jessie child’s. It’s a match made in heaven in my eyes. X

  53. I was a history major in college and the Tudor era is my favorite in English history. I would absolutely love to read this book!

  54. Love Tudor history and have been looking for some new books on the period. Regardless of whether or not I win the giveaway, this has been added to my list.

  55. I have been obsessed with the Tudors since I was in high school in the 1970’s. I saw Keith Michell play Henry VIII and was hooked. I would love to add this book to my Tudor library. It sounds fascinating. It covers a subject I have not read in any other book. Please pick me! Thank you.

  56. I would love to have a copy of this book to help prepare for a Masters in Elizabethan literature, and particularly to help me to identify religious issues relevant to the audiences of Shakespeare and Marlowe.

  57. I’d love to add this to my collection of books on this period that fascinates me. The turmoil of religion at that point I. The schism in religion and the power of Elizabeth are intriguing subjects

  58. Would be very grateful to win & receive this signed paperback book. Thank you for giving one away!

  59. I live in the USA and since most likely never get to travel to the UK I am determined to read and learn as much as I can about the Tudor period. I have been fascinated by this time period since I was 8 years old. (I’m almost 8 times that old now!). I would love to be chosen to receive this book. However if not chosen I will purchase it so that I can read it and learn. Thanks so much for all the info sharing! First thing I read everyday on FB is all the Anne Boleyn files and other Tudor info. Love it !!

  60. Would love to win this book! As a big fan of the Tudor world – I love finding out information about the behind the scenes of aspects of Tudor life. I find the recusants interesting and not well known. Such saints as St. Margaret Clitherow are among my favorites. It would be great to learn more of what Good Queen Bess allowed and didn’t allow with regards to religion.

  61. i would like to read this book because of the significance of Elizabeth’s reign on the founding of the United States of America. For some years I have been researching my ancestors, who were aristocrats who founded Boston. They arrived at the beginning of the Great Migration, with the Winthrop Fleet. Not knowing a great deal about this time in English history, I began to study why people who were from ancient noble families would abandon all and risk a voyage to a relatively unknown country, and all the attendant hardships. This research has taken me through the English Civil War, the Reformation back through time to the struggles between the families of my ancestors and the Tudors, and truths about religion, politics and power. Elizabeth fascinates me as the ultimate survivor, but who also acted with great mercy to those terrorized by her father. An in depth book about Elizabethan religion and politics would provide another piece of the puzzle of a history of America’s foundational roots that is not popularly known.

  62. I love reading about History.. I got a massive collection. I love anything English or French.. Have enjoyed works by Margaret George.. Antonia Fraser and many more. This book would be a joy to read. If I win great.. If not it’s OK.. I will still search for this book. Good luck to everyone.

  63. Congratulations to Nicole, well done, this is an excellent book by a wonderful writer. I am sure you will enjoy the prize, well done.

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