Martin Heale
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Monasticism in late medieval England, c. 1300–1535
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts covered by the sources in this book. The book surveys the internal affairs of English monasteries, including recruitment, the monastic economy, standards of observance and learning. It looks at the relations between monasteries and the world, exploring the monastic contribution to late medieval religion and society and lay attitudes towards monks and nuns in the years leading up to the Dissolution. In the preservation and dissemination of learning, the spread of Christianity throughout Europe, the periodic reform of the Church, the stimulation of the economy and much else, the monastic contribution to the medieval world needs no elaboration. The later middle ages was an era of evolution in English monastic life in late medieval England. In comparison to earlier centuries, the later middle ages witnessed few new monastic foundations and few major grants of property to existing religious houses.

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