I was merrily revising away at the Lollard chapter in Book Two when I stumbled over this pointed commentary in "A Conversation on Books: Historical Tales," The Monthly Packet 31 (March 1881). (Not coincidentally, the author--probably Charlotte Mary Yonge--is Anglo-Catholic; they had no brief for Lollards.)
Spider. There are a great many more tales of Lollards and Wickliffites.
Arachne. Which I don't trust. I don't think the good ladies who write them have much knowledge of what most Lollards really did wish or believe; and there is no good ground for representing them as good evangelical Christians. None of these tales are of any mark, though Miss Holt has taken much pains with the mise en scene of hers. (230)
Probably-Yonge then proceeds to wax scathing about the subject of, er, my book (231-32):
Spider. You like Miss Manning's Household of Sir Thomas More?
Arachne. Very much. And it brings us to the whole mass of Reformation stories, which are very seldom successful. Very few people have the power of realising what the opinions on either side were; and they make huge mistakes, which I will not specify, it would be too ungracious. The Schonberg Cotta Diary is one of the best, though Luther is a poor feeble bit of lady's handiwork where he does not speak for himself out of his diary and letters. And Miss Emily Taylor's story, The Knevetts, gives some good pictures of the days of Henry VIII.; but I do not care for Miss Manning's The Fair Gospeller, or any of the others of this era. Foxe and Burnet so falsified history that anything written on their authority is sure to be untrustworthy.
Most of Book Two is spent hanging about with evangelicals (both CofE and Nonconformist), so it's nice to find such a tart assessment from a Higher point of view.