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Jaipur Literature Festival 2015: Religious terrorism existed in the Elizabethan era, claims British author Jessie Childs

Shomini Sen | http://shominisen

First published: January 21, 2015, 11:26 PM IST | Updated: January 21, 2015
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Jaipur Literature Festival 2015:  Religious terrorism existed in the Elizabethan era, claims British author Jessie Childs
The historian was introduced by festival's one of co-founders, William Dalrymple, who himself has immense knowledge on Mughal history of India.

Contrary to popular belief, terrorism is not a recent phenomena. In an enlightening session at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015, award winning author and historian Jessie Childs focussed on religious terrorism in the Elizabethan era.

The historian was at the festival to present her new book 'God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England' highlighted the torture that was inflicted on Catholics during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The historian was introduced by festival's one of co-founders, William Dalrymple, who himself has immense knowledge on Mughal history of India. Dalrymple stated that "while it is commonly known that the concept of terrorism emerged only after the end of French Revolution and now more so associated with Al-Qaeda, Jessie's book's gives a fascinating insight into th religious fundamentalism that existed in the 16th century."

Childs'book focussed on how Queen Elizabeth, being a protestant Christian herself, forced her subjects to convert. "Much like her paintings, Elizabeth's religious beliefs in most history books were air brushed. The Queen was hailed for her religious tolerance but reality was rather different,"explained Childs.

Childs stated that how Catholics were forced to attend Protestant church under the Queen's rule, if they failed, they would have to pay a hefty fine and worse still, be killed. "Catholics have always been more conservative and under the Elizabethan era, they were tortured for being this religious,"

"At the beginning of Elizabethan era, there were a few Protestants in the kingdom", points out Childs, " and even though Catholics were more in number, because of the Queen's personal religious beliefs,, they were dominated a small number easily."

Childs first book, 'Henry VIII's Last Victim' won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography in 2007 and her latest 'God's Traitors,' has won the Longman-History Today Book Prize 2015.

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