God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

The Catholics of Elizabethan England did not witness a golden age. Their Mass was banned, their priests were outlawed, their faith was criminalised. In an age of assassination and Armada, those Catholics who clung to their faith were increasingly seen as the enemy within. In this superb history, award-winning author Jessie Childs explores the Catholic predicament in Elizabethan England through the eyes of one remarkable family: the Vauxes of Harrowden Hall.

GOD’S TRAITORS is a tale of dawn raids and daring escapes, stately homes and torture chambers, ciphers, secrets and lies. From clandestine chapels and side-street inns to exile communities and the corridors of power, it exposes the tensions and insecurities masked by the cult of Gloriana. Above all, it is a timely story of courage and frailty, repression and reaction and the terrible consequences when religion and politics collide.

GOD’S TRAITORS was published on 6th March 2014 by Bodley Head (Random House).

“This vivid, minutely researched and brilliantly original history is a much-needed look at the dark side of the Elizabethan age.”
– Sunday Times

“Scholarly, absorbing, even-handed and relevant.”
– The Times

“Never has the actual experience of the recusants been rendered with such a wealth of searing detail…richly packed, absorbing…It is a parade of extraordinary characters and a banquet of Elizabethan and Jacobean prose.”
– The Guardian

“A superb account of cloak-and-dagger religious intrigue…GOD’S TRAITORS, with its crisp prose and punctilious scholarship, brilliantly recreates a world of heroism and holiness in Tudor England…as a mainstream history it is little short of a triumph.”
– Financial Times

“A dramatic and thrilling story of fear, faith, courage and deceit and an important exposé of the terror of life as a Catholic in Elizabethan England.”
– New Statesman

“Truly excellent.”
– The Spectator

“In the quality of her research and sensitive handling of issues that remain raw to this day, Jessie Childs succeeds in evoking ‘the lived experience of anti-Catholicism’ as few have done before.”
– Literary Review