Carleton examines the interplay between bishop and king, the episcopate in the context of other orders, and the social context of the office; he studies episcopal activity in key areas such as preaching, ordaining, and opposing heresy; and he notes the influence of the models which the bishops themselves set up as ideals, most notably Christ himself as the ideal bishop. The backgrounds of the bishops are set out in the appendix.
Sets out to look at the episcopate as a whole over one period of what many of us now see as a number of Reformations... (It) relates ideas well to what bishops did. It is a good synthesis with original perspectives, opening new territory. (English Historical Review)