Book Series Studies and Texts, vol. 235

The Correspondence and Unpublished Papers of Robert Persons, SJ

Volume 2: 1588–1597

Victor Houliston, Thomas M. McCoog, SJ, Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Javier Burrieza Sánchez, Ginevra Crosignani (eds)

  • Pages: 936 p.
  • Size:152 x 229 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2024

  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-235-2
  • Hardback
  • Available


“In a splendidly comprehensive introduction to this volume, the first of three, Victor Houliston asserts ‘the need for a scholarly edition of [Robert] Persons’s correspondence’ to supersede ‘the tendentious historiography of his career.’ He and his fellow editors have succeeded magnificently ... . This first volume constitutes not only a brilliant introduction to the impact on the Counter Reformation to the Atlantic Isles, but also an illuminating re-setting of the story in a European perspective through the lens of the Jesuit archives. ... It is a breathtaking achievement ... a major contribution to European history, and to our understanding of the complex personality and historical significance of Robert Persons.” — Dermot Fenlon, reviewing Volume 1 in Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu


Victor Houliston is a Research Professor at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, and a visiting researcher at Campion Hall, Oxford. His edition and translation of Robert Persons’s De persecutione Anglicana was published in December 2023.

Thomas M. McCoog, SJ, sometime editor-in-chief at the Jesuit Historical Institute (Rome) and archivist of the British Province of the Society of Jesus (London), is superior of a Jesuit retirement home in Baltimore, Maryland. He is currently editing the proceedings of the conference commemorating the 400th anniversary of the English/British Province.

Ana Sáez‐Hidalgo is an Associate Professor of English at the Universidad de Valladolid. Her research focuses on Anglo-Spanish cultural and literary relations, exploring the cross-cultural dimensions of the textual and material exchanges between Spain and England and the circulation of knowledge, ideas, and objects through English Catholic exiles.

Javier Burrieza Sánchez is an Associate Professor of Modern History at the Universidad de Valladolid. He has published extensively on early modern Spanish history and is the author of Escultores y escultura procesional de la Semana Santa de Castilla y León (2017). His interest in the English Colleges in Spain is reflected in various works such as Una isla de Inglaterra in Castilla (2000).

Ginevra Crosignani, a graduate of the University of Rome, “La Sapienza,” is a specialist in religious history and in early modern Italian. She has taught at Caltech and at San Diego State University, and is now based in Rome, teaching at the Beda Pontifical College. Her research is focused on religious conformity in post-Reformation England and early modern Europe.


This book is the second volume of a projected 3-volume edition which aims to contribute to our understanding of Robert Persons’s significance as a controversial figure in early modern European history. It includes documents and letters by Persons, as well as letters to Persons, notably from the superior general of the Society of Jesus, Claudio Acquaviva. Letters in Latin, Italian and Spanish are presented both in the original language and spelling and with English translation, and letters in English in original spelling. The correspondence in this volume covers Persons’s eight-year sojourn in Spain following the failure of the Spanish armada of 1588, the repercussions of the death of William Cardinal Allen, and Persons’s return to Rome in 1597 to deal with disaffected students at the English College.


Abbreviations and Sigla
Using This Edition

The Memorialistas
The Seminaries: Valladolid, Seville, and St Omers
The Opposition in Flanders
The English College, Rome
The English Mission
The International Scene
Controversy and Publicity
The Correspondence Network
Archival Sources
Dramatis Personae
Valladolid, 1588–1592
Seville, November 1592–October 1594
After Allen, 1594–1596
Rome, 1597

Appendix A: Memorials and Memoranda, 1597
Appendix B: List of Rectors of the English Colleges
Appendix C: Cardinal Protectors of the English College, Rome
Appendix D: Provincial Superiors of the Society of Jesus
Index of Persons
Index of Places and Subjects