Review of Saints and Sinners: Britain’s Millennium of Monasteries (2015)
Seen in 2019.
Christian monasticism in Britain from the 4th century to the fairly abrupt dissolution of the institutions between 1536 and 1541, under Thomas Cromwell for Henry VIII.
The general thesis is that the monasteries thrived while they provided economically competitive services (wool, scribes, education etc.) and fell apart when other organizations could perform the same services more efficiently. The dissolution, despite its scale, is portrayed as largely peaceful except for Aske’s rebellion against it.