- Edited by Jason McElligott, Merton College Oxford, UK
Between the years 1677 and 1691 the Puritan minister Roger Morrice compiled an astonishingly detailed record of public affairs in Britain. Running to almost a million words his 'Entring Book' provides a unique record of late seventeenth-century political and religious history. It charts the rise of British party politics, and the transformation of Puritanism into 'Whiggery' and Dissent. It provides a wealth of information on social and cultural history, as well as the relationships between the three Stuart kingdoms.
All the essays in this volume have been inspired by the key concerns of the Entring Book: the palpable sense of the fear and foreboding in the 1680s; the long shadow cast by the mid-century civil war; the profound effect on Englishmen of events on the continent; and the anxieties and opportunities caused by a socially diffuse culture of news and information. In so doing they give a vivid sense of what it was like to live in England in the years before the Revolution and help to explain why that Revolution took place when it did, and why it took the particular form that it did. These chapters provide fresh and insightful perspectives on religion, politics and culture from established and emerging scholars on three continents. Taken together they offer a valuable introduction to the world of Roger Morrice, and will be an essential companion to the scholarly edition of the Entring Book.
Contents: Introduction: Stabilizing and destabilizing Britain in the 1680s, Jason McElligott; Reformation and 'arbitrary government': London dissenters and James II's polity of toleration, 1687–88, Gary S. De Krey; Roger Morrice and the Huguenot refugees, Robin Gwynn; The politics of religious imagery in the late 17th century, Clare Haynes; L'Estrange and the publishing sphere, Geoff Kemp; London besieged? The city's vulnerability during the glorious revolution, Charles-Edouard Levillain; 'Eminent cheats': rogue narratives in the literature of the exclusion crisis, Kate Loveman; The 'prints' of the trials: the Nexus of politics, religion, law and information in late 17th-century England, Michael Mendle; Gilbert Burnet's Reformation and the semantics of popery, Andrew Starkie; 'High feeding and smart drinking': associating hedge-lane Lords in exclusion crisis London, Newton E. Key; Dissenters and the writing of history: Ralph Thoresby's 'lives and characters', David L. Wykes; Nursing sedition: women, dissent, and the Whig struggle, Melinda S. Zook; Judging partisan news and the language of interest, Mark Knights; Index.
About the Editor: Jason McElligott is the JPR Lyell Research Fellow in the History of the Early-Modern Printed Book at Merton College, UK.
Reviews: ‘In this user-friendly edition, the 'Entring Book' is a long overdue gift to scholars of late seventeenth-century England. It is a gold mine of notes, news, and reflections on the political, religious, cultural, and social events, as well as on individuals, during fourteen critically important years… This collection of wide-ranging essays effectively brings fresh questions and perspectives to understanding the decade of the 1680s. It will be of value to graduate students as well as their mentors, and to others interested in innovative approaches to Restoration England.’ Journal of British Studies
‘There are no duds in this collection… none of the essays are less then original, scholarly and lucid. Each of these essays will find a distinct audience, but the whole collection will be required reading for any serious student of the 1680s.’ Ecclesiastical History
’Ashgate is to be congratulated on this volume which makes me wish I had attended the conference… That the book under review delivers such an insight into this world derives not only from the success of the editor and contributors in producing a tightly woven, scholarly and well-written collection but equally from the idea of focusing it upon a single massive primary source: the manuscript 'Entring Book' of nonconformist cleric Roger Morrice…’ English Historical Review
‘As a snapshot of scholarship in the Restoration era, the volume is quite excellent. Individual contributions update and question our understanding of key areas, including the nature and role of an emerging public sphere, political structures in the first age of party, the genres of writing used to debate the fundamental issues of religion and constitution, and the place of England in a wider world.’ 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era