December 20, 2006

Historians show how Angels survived Puritan purge by hanging round death beds

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Angels have an important role at Christmas, as part of the nativity story or just appearing on top of a Christmas tree. However they were nearly swept from our culture in a purge of Catholic practices and symbols by zealous Tudor and Stuart Protestants. Even Christmas itself was banned for a time under Cromwell, yet somehow angels remained popular figures. Now a new study entitled ‘Angels in the Early Modern World’ led by Professor Peter Marshall of the University of Warwick and Professor Alexandra Walsham of Exeter reveals how Angels escaped the puritan purge by hanging around English death beds.

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