When Reading Was a Crime

Strength for the Quest
ANNE ASKEW KNEW when they handed her the book she was committing a criminal act simply by holding it. 

I wonder if she hesitated before lifting the cover. I wonder if she began at the beginning, or turned to a particular page, and if so, which one? I wonder what emotions she felt as she read for the first time the words of God from an English Bible. 

I wonder if she knew at that moment that the simple act of reading a book would lead to her death? 

Events unfolded quickly— 

She was arrested for “gospelizing” — telling other people what she read. 

She was questioned several times by state and church authorities who challenged her to recant when her teaching did not conform to the traditional doctrines of the church. She answered their questions with quotes from the Bible.

She was taken to the Tower of London and tortured on the rack to force her to reveal the identities of the persons who gave her the Bible. She didn’t. Twice she fainted. Twice she was revived. (Anne is the only woman on record who was tortured in the Tower of London.) 

She was taken to her execution in a chair because she couldn’t walk, chained to a pole to hold her up. She was presented with a pardon. All she had to do was admit she’d committed heresy. She refused it. 

On July 16, 1545 Anne Akskew was burned at the stake. As one man described her death, “She went to heaven in a chariot of fire”

She was 25-years-old. 

So inspired were people by her courageous stand, ballads were sung of her. The Bleets company in London produced an Anne Askew doll complete with rack and stake.

So inspired was I by this young woman’s dedication to God and the Bible, I wrote two novels portraying the dangers faced by men and women like her to read and distribute the Bible in English — Glimpses of Truth and Beyond the Sacred Page

I dedicated Glimpses of Truth to Anne Askew. 

You can read more about these novels, click here

One last thing — I found an inspiring video on YouTube depicting Anne’s courageous stand and wanted to share it with you. To watch it, click here.

Because Life Is More Than A Journey


Glimpses of Truth ebook debuts!

Glimpses of Truth Ebook Cover

Dedicated to the men and women
who loved the Bible more than their lives.

An extraordinary intellect, the love of a beautiful woman, and a remarkable mission—life holds great promise for Thomas Torr. Chosen by John Wycliffe to assist in translating the Latin Vulgate into English, the young peasant senses God calling him to an incredible, but dangerous, destiny. Thus begins a thrilling adventure, leading from the catacombs of Rome to the hinterlands of Britain. Here are characters to fall in love with, exotic settings, drama, intrigue . . . and an ending that will stir anew your desire to fulfill God’s call on your life.

Buy Kindle ebookclick here

Buy Nook ebook – click here

CLICK HERE to read about Anne Askew, the martyr who inspired this book


What Is Hero Fiction?

Heroic Living quote

HERO FICTION is stories of ordinary people caught up in events far greater than themselves—

  • A family swept up in the vast panorama of American history 
    (American Family Portrait series) 
  • Ordinary believers who dared to read outlawed English versions of the Bible 
    (Glimpses of Truth; Beyond the Sacred Page) 
  • A German pastor and his wife who never bowed a knee to Hitler, rescuing disabled orphans from the gas chambers 
    (Songs in the Night series) 
  • An American nurse captured by a German soldier in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge 
    (Dear Enemy) 

The goal of hero fiction is that after reading it readers will be inspired to live nobly in whatever situation they find themselves.