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A Thousand Fates : The Afterlife of Medieval Monasteries in England & Wales, Hardback Book

A Thousand Fates : The Afterlife of Medieval Monasteries in England & Wales Hardback



A Thousand Fates explores the afterlife of medieval monasticism in England and Wales. A thousand years of monasticism came to an abrupt end in the mid-sixteenth century with the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

At its peak two hundred years earlier, many people chose the contemplative life, while the rich sought salvation through the foundation or embellishment of religious houses.

Much of the nation's wealth was locked into these complexes through elaborate rebuilding, gifts of precious objects and flourishing libraries of rare books.

Then in just four years all of the eight hundred plus houses were closed and ten thousand people dispersed, with the monastic fortune liquidated and passed to the crown. Today we are left with echoes of a time dominated by an enclosed elite, their homes repurposed or derelict or obliterated.

Some of these foundations still thrive as churches, schools, homes or tourist attractions.

Others have left little physical trace, the casual viewer ignorant of their existence. A Thousand Fates is not an account of why the monasteries closed or what happened to the people displaced.

Instead it focuses on the monastic buildings and their numerous fates and brings life to their stories.



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