As the drama of John Bale of Suffolk (1495-1563) is an index to the controversies of the Reformation, so is his life an interesting parallel to the major events of that period of English history. He was born ten years after the battle of Bosworth, entered the Carmelite convent at Norwich two years before the accession of Henry VIII, was converted to Protestantism in the year Henry married Anne Boleyn, fled to the continent upon the fall of Cromwell in 1540, returned under Edward VI, and fled again when Mary became queen, only to return once more upon the enthronement of Elizabeth. Thus, both Bale's drama and his life are significant expressions of the English Reformation.



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