William Tyndale: A Very Brief History - Melvyn Bragg
‘On the morning of 6 October 1536, a frail scholar was taken from a dungeon in the castle at Vilvoorde, just north of Brussels. Armed guards kept the crowds at bay as he was led through the streets of the small town. He was to be burned. The funeral pyre, a wigwam stack of planks surmounted by a cross, was ready. Gunpowder would be thrown on the wood to encourage the flames. He was allowed a few moments of prayer. As a priest, prayer had been the keystone of his faith. After the brief pause, he walked up the steps to be tied to the cross. As he waited for the flames, he called out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”
‘This was William Tyndale, the man whose translation of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament was to bring about more profound changes to the English-speaking world over the next five centuries than the works of any other man in its history.’
From Chapter 1: Innocence and genius
Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels includeThe Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the W H Smith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary and Now is the Time. He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Book of Books, In Our Time, The Adventure of English and 12 Books that Changed the World. He lives in London and Cumbria.