Description Book Review About Author Contact & Events Research & Links
Book Reviews


“Reading Stephanie Mann's marvelous account of the English Reformation was an exhilarating experience!   It was particularly inspiring to learn how the English Catholic laity behaved when the winds of arrogance and anarchy blew violently in England. No one can deny that their example is most fitting for us to recall and to emulate as we, Catholic laity of the 21st Century, try to remain standing in our own ‘dictatorship of relativism.’”

            --Barbara McGuigan, EWTN host of Open Line and The Good Fight


"When it comes to tellings of the English Reformation, a delicate balance of wit and gravity must be observed if any justice is to be done to this dramatic period in Western history. Stephanie Mann has done just that; in Supremacy and Survival, one gets the facts and figures of the English Reformation, while at the same time getting a hearty dose of the irony and sheer tragedy of English religion in the years following the reign of King Henry VIII."

--Matt Swaim, Producer of the Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN, author of The Eucharist and the Rosary and Prayer in the Digital Age


“Stephanie Mann succeeds in describing the aftermath of the English Reformation in a way which is informative, convincing, and readable.  Her account is surprisingly thorough for such a short book, and includes a whole range of political and cultural consequences of the English Catholic Revival – a truly amazing event which continues to this day.”

--Father John Vidmar, OP, Associate Professor of History at Providence College, author of English Catholic Historians and the English Reformation, 1585-1954 and The Catholic Church through the Ages

 “Heroism, betrayal, murder, conniving – this period of history has it all, and Stephanie Mann tells the gripping story with skill and verve.”

            --Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D., New York Times best-selling author of How the Catholic Church Built Civilization.

“More than a stimulating history of the Catholic Church in post-reformation England. Mann describes how a modern state imposed its confused, contradictory version of Christianity on an often unwilling and resistant English Catholic people.”

            --Scott McDermott, author of Charles Carroll, Faithful Revolutionary.

Book Review (from Eighth Day Books, Catalog #20, 2009):

We present here a remarkable synthesis. At once a devout Catholic writing primarily but not exclusively for Catholics, a writer of limpid prose, and a skilled chronicler, Stephanie Mann shows how to write accurate and trustworthy history while unabashedly staking a claim about wrongs and rights and final judgment on matters. Her territory is the English Reformation and the subsequent fortunes of Catholics in England up through the twentieth century. It’s a cavalcade of momentous persons and periods and movements, never losing its connecting thread of conflict between Church and State, and whether public order ever trumps freedom of faith and conscience. Find in this book vivid accounts of Henry VIII and the wives (three Catherines, two Annes, and one Jane). There are lucid accounts of the reigns of Mary and her half-sister Elizabeth I, James VI, and Charles I. The English Civil War, the Puritans and Cromwell, and the Restoration are given due attention. But Mann isn’t writing mere political history. She is at her best when describing the interfacing cultural and religious climates: the lukewarmness—dangerous to all sides—of the eighteenth century, the Oxford movement and conversion of Newman in the nineteenth, and the influence of literary and intellectual figures such as Chesterton, Benson, and Anscombe in the twentieth. With its extensive glossary of persons and terms, timeline of events, study questions and bibliography, Supremacy and Survival is a marvelous resource for teachers. But it is also a book for common readers, forcing the question to all of what kind of faith creates a willingness—sometimes even joyful willingness—to accept hanging, drawing and quartering and other hideous tortures, for its sake. (used by permission © Eighth Day Books)

Five Star Review on

By E.T.H. Teague of Chester, England!

 A Brilliant Summary (November 30, 2009)

I agree with the American reviewers who have rightly praised this useful little volume. As an Englishman, I share their opinion that it provides an excellent overview of a long sequence of complicated events. It does not pretend to be a detailed academic study, but it is well-referenced and the author has carried out a remarkably skilful job of distilling the important points and narrating them in a clear and balanced way. Anyone who reads this book will obtain a sound understanding of the history of Catholicism in England since the 'Reformation'. In my view, the author demonstrates a 'feel' for her subject that would put many English historians to shame. Indeed, I cannot think of any other up-to-date popular history of English Catholicism to match this reliable and thoroughly readable account. If I have one criticism, it is that I would have liked to have seen some reference to the important work of John Lingard (1771-1851), whose meticulous historical research first exposed the English people to the uncomfortable facts about their so-called 'Reformation' and thereby discredited the ignorant basis of much anti-Catholic prejudice. I very much hope the author will take the opportunity to remedy that omission in any future edition.** [Emphasis added]

**I have included reference to Lingard’s work in the revisions to the second printing of Supremacy and Survival—it’s at the printer now and should be available again from Scepter in January 2011!


Excerpts from other reader and retailer reviews:

Five-Star Review from a Reader on!

“Stephanie Mann has written a fabulous primer on the subject of [the] effect the English Reformation [had] on English Roman Catholics from the sixteenth century through the 1800s. The chronology of the period is followed perfectly. Chapters are concise. Her book includes a "who's who" of this period as well as a time line to which the reader can refer. Mann's book will serve as a both a launching platform for and a reference to the works of other authors of the period, for example Eamon Duffy.”

"Narrat[ing] with clarity and insight, Mann draws from a variety of scholarly studies on the Reformation, making the book an excellent introduction to the fall and subsequent rise of the Catholic Church in the British Isles. While the book was a refresher course for me . . . the way in which Mann synthesizes the information into a coherent and flowing analysis gave me a deeper understanding of the sequence and significance of events."

From the Five Star review on by Elena-Maria Vidal, author of Trianon and Madame Royale. Click here for the entire review.

"Stephanie Mann has written an instructive popular history of Catholics under Protestant rule in England. . . . her love for the subject matter always shines through. If you are a fan of the history of English Catholicism, this is a book to own."

From the Four Star review on by Rich Leonardi, blogger and "Son Rise Morning Show" contributor. Click here for the entire review.

"This in, in fact, a highly readable, fast-paced historical overview of the Catholic Church in England from the whole period stretching from the late Middle Ages to the middle of the 20th century. . . . This is a book that manages to pack in an awful lot of information in its 200 or so pages."

From the review by Southwell Books, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England (featured in their Summer 2009 book catalog). Click here for the entire review.

“This book should appeal to anyone interested in the English Reformation. It should especially interest Catholics who have studied history only in non-Catholic schools and colleges. It is brief, yet full of interesting details. It is complete, yet free of meaningless meanderings. It is well-written, a delight to read – and re-read.”

From the Venite, Missa Est! review by Jim Spencer. Read the entire review here.

Ask for it at your favorite bookstore/on-line shops.  Click below to buy NOW!

Published and
distributed by
Scepter Publishers Inc
P.O. Box 211
New York, NY 10018

And at Eighth Day Books
(the greatest bookstore in the world!)

2838 East Douglas
Wichita, KS 67214
Toll-free 1-800-841-2541

Also available at
EWTN Religious Catalog
St. Pauls Bookstore,
London, England

(temporarily by special order
or from other sellers)

Also available for purchase in eBook formats from,, and the iBookstore app on your iPod or iPhone.

Description Book Review About Author Contact & Events Research & Links

Copyright © 2009 Stephanie A. Mann