English Class: Western Literature

Still Worthwhile

The Acts and Monuments of The Christian Church (commonly known as “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”) was written by John Foxe in the 16th century. For a long time after the book’s publication, it was much sought after, however in our modern society not many people read it. Is it that Foxe’s style and language are no longer compelling, or is there another reason?

John Foxe, Photo Credit: Wikipedia

I think that people are not compelled by Foxe’s book not because of the style and language (although that does have a role to play) but because they are not interested in the topic itself. Indeed the writing of the book is sometimes difficult to follow, and this hinders many from reading it. Instead of always writing clearly and concise, Foxe is often quite lengthy and verbose. However, the underlying issue is with people’s interests. Very few people read for the sake of reading beautiful language. When people read, they do so for the knowledge and benefits they gain. Even a modern book may not captivate everyone, simply because they are not interested in the subject. It does not necessarily have anything to do with the writing style. I believe that this is the case with Foxe’s book. The language is not always easy to understand, yet if the reader is interested in these stories, they will enjoy the book. Although the book is written in an old style, its message and stories should still be appreciated in our day.

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