After providing a short history of the Anglican Church, J. C. Ryle presents the biographies of some of the most influential English Reformers and detractors, some of whom are little known. Light From Old Times includes the biographies of John Wycliffe, John Rogers, John Hooper, Rowland Taylor, Hugh Latimer, John Bradford, Nichols Ridley, Samuel Ward, Archbishop Laud, Richard Baxter, William Gurnall, and James II.
J. C. Ryle (1816–1900) was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a Craven Scholar. He was ordained in 1841, and became the first bishop of Liverpool in 1880. Ryle was a prolific writer his entire life, publishing dozens of bestsellers that were translated into many languages.