Dangerous Talk and Strange Behavior: Women and Popular Resistance to the Reforms of Henry VIII

Dangerous Talk and Strange Behavior looks at the cases of several women charged with treason in early sixteenth-century England: Margaret Cheyne, who was executed for the part she played in a failed rebellion; Elizabeth Barton, for her prophecies against Henry VIII’s divorce; Elizabeth Wood, for spreading “treasonous rumors” about the king; and Mabel Brigge, for a “black fast” she directed against him. Jansen examines the roles these women played during a period of religious, political, institutional, and social turmoil, describes each woman’s particular acts of protest, analyzes how, why, and when these sorts of actions were judged to threaten the peace and order of the realm, and suggests that each of these women’s “crimes” were viewed as “dangerous talk and strange behavior” because of their perceived threat to the peace and stability of the reign of Henry VIII. Dangerous Talk and Strange Behavior is a fascinating piece of work that brings to light the role women played in fomenting revolution against the crown.





. . . Jansen’s study of women and popular resistance in the reign of Henry VIII is an important work that breaks new ground. . . . The book is written with engaging, readable style, which should make it accessible to students as well as specialists.”—Carole Levin, American Historical Review



Click here to purchase Dangerous Talk and Strange Behavior: Women and Popular Resistance to the Reforms of Henry VIII at

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