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Edited by Benedict J. Whalen
Lyra Martyrum is an anthology of Catholic poetry composed amidst what has been called “one of the brightest chapters in the history of martyrdom for the faith”: the English Reformation. Through their poetry, the saints and blesseds in this volume, including Thomas More, Philip Howard, Henry Walpole, Robert Southwell, and Nicholas Postgate, demonstrate steadfast faith in the Catholic religion. Spiritually poignant and poetically edifying, Lyra Martyrum stands as a testament to the power of faith in the face of death.
Just as Christ sang a hymn after the Last Supper, before heading to his torments, so too do these martyrs sing, pouring out their poems in preparation for the greater act of pouring out their blood for Christ. (From the Introduction by Benedict J. Whalen)
For this second edition of Lyra Martyrum, Benedict J. Whalen has revised and expanded the original collection, adding a new Introduction to situate the poems in their historical and literary contexts, supplying omitted lines and stanzas to the poems, and contributing glosses, annotations, and an Appendix with supplementary poetry. Spiritually poignant and poetically edifying, Lyra Martyrum stands as a testament to the power of faith in the face of death.
Benedict J. Whalen is Assistant Professor of English at Hillsdale College. He has published several articles on Renaissance literature, especially the works of Shakespeare, and serves as the Book Reviews Editor for the Ben Jonson Journal.