So a couple months ago I snagged a free audiobook of a classic book called “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.” It was written in the 1500s during the first few years of Queen Elizabeth I’s rule as Queen of England and outlines the martyrdom of hundreds of Christians from the time of Christ through the 16th Century. I like history, I like Tudor England, so I thought I’d give it a shot. After all, the book was free.
Okay, so you know how the Bible has a lot of “So-and-so begat so-and-so, who begat so-and-so” in the Old Testament? Well, this book is an awful lot like that. I had hoped this would be a historical book outlining the stories of a lot of martyrs. However, I’m up to the fourth chapter and up to this point it’s just a rank and file listing of known Christian martyrs.
Stuff like “Phillippa of Cresus was stoned after publicly declaring the opinion that Christ was indeed the Messiah. She died in AD 204.” And that’s it. Now, I understand that the backstories of a lot of Biblical era martyrs may not be known, but COME ON – give me SOMETHING. I’m up to about AD 350 and it’s still just a giant list.
My only hope is that later in the book, as more backstory is known about the martyrs’ lives, that the stories fill out a bit. I did accidentally begin listening to Disc 10 (of 14) during lunch today and it was up to the time of King Henry, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cranmer – so there is hope that it will improve.
But if I don’t get past all this begat, begat, begat stuff I may not make it to Cranmer.