With millions of copies in print, Foxe's Book of Martyrs has become a classic of magnificent courage and faith. This unparalleled volume chronicles the tragic yet triumphant stories of men and women who faced torture and martyrdom rather than deny their vision of truth and of God.
In 1563, John Foxe began a memorial of martyrs starting with Stephen, the first to die for the cause of Christ, and ending with the most recent martyrs of his day: those killed during Bloody Mary's reign. It examines the heroic lives of great men and women such as John Hus, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Anne Askew, Lady Jane Grey, and Martin Luther.
John Foxe also knew persecution, and his writings possess a sense of immediacy and insight into suffering that few "objective" church historians can match. He knew that danger lies in forgetting the martyrs—in being insensitive to their struggles.
Martyrdom is not a thing of the past—every day the Christian church is persecuted in countries all over the world. If you prefer, you can read the New Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which is redone in modern English and includes examples of more modern persecution.