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  Title: The Akenham Burial Case

Author: Ronald Fletcher

Date published: 1974

Status: out of print

What is it? The classic investigation of a 19th century scandal involving the burial of an unbaptised child at Akenham, near Ipswich.

What's it like? Clearly there was still a lively curiosity about the Rev. George Drury himself. What sort of man was he? Was the conduct of his services as bad as had been said? How - as a matter of usual practice - did he conduct the affairs of his churches? Was he a monster? Was he incapable? Inefficient? Or genuinely a man of meticulous principle - and, with in the rubric of the Church's regulations - a man of warmth and humanity?

What's good about it? A fascinating detective story - the reconstruction of an extraordinary event, and a libel case that led inevitably to a complete change in English burial law and practice.

What's bad about it? Fletcher fails to put the case in context - that this dispute was essentially one between an extreme Anglo-catholic Rector and his many militantly protestant critics.

Overall rating: 3/5

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