This book brings together accounts of martyrdoms from many periods of the church, many cultures and many confessions. After an extended introductory section on the nature of martyrdom, the diversity of its significance and yet the unity of the sacrificial witness which it represents, there are three main parts. The first deals with antiquity up to the edict of Milan in 313, which put an end to persecutions, and is concerned with figures like Polycarp, the martyrs of Lyons, Perpetua and Felicitas, Pionius, Cyprian and Crispina. The second covers the period from the fifteenth century to the end of the nineteenth and portrays events as disparate as missions in distant lands and struggles against the abuse of power, whether religious or secular. Here we move from Joan of Arc, Jan Hus and Thomas More through Damian the Blind in Japan and Paul Ni in Korea to the martyrs of Madagascar and Uganda. The third, the shortest but by no means the least harrowing, covers this century, with Archbishop Vladimir, Maximilien Kolbe, Marie Skobtsova, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Janani Luwum, Alice Domon and Leonie Duquet, Oscar Romero and Jerzy Popieluszko.