Eamon Duffy, professor of the history of Christianity and fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, is also the author of The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580 and The Voices of Morebath, both published by Yale University Press.
"'As Duffy works his way through the papal roll of honour and dishonour, he is always careful to re-create the political, social and economic background to different reigns. He eschews opaque ecclesiastical jargon and, where a theological or doctrinal dispute has to be explained, he does so in a way that even those unversed in biblical concepts or Christian history will immediately grasp... An outstanding work of popular scholarship.' (Peter Stanford, Daily Telegraph) 'Duffy enlivens the long march through church history with anecdotes that bring the different pontiffs to life... Saints and Sinners is a remarkable achievement.' (Piers Paul Read, The Times) 'A distinguished text... offering plenty of historical facts and sobering, valuable judgements.' (Henry Chadwick, New York Times Book Review) 'A minor masterpiece which is everything good, popular history ought to be... The most comprehensive single-volume history of the popes in print.' (John Adamson, Sunday Telegraph) 'Will fascinate anyone wishing to better understand the history of the Catholic Church and the forces that have shaped the role of the papacy.' (Gloria J. Tysl, Christian Century) 'Duffy offers a comprehensive overview of the 2,000-year history of the papacy... This digestible survey provides a compelling introduction to one of the most durable and significant institutions to influence the course of Western civilization.' (Booklist)"