The Last American Puritan: The Life of Increase Mather, 1639-1723

Michael G. Hall, Author Wesleyan University Press $25 (456p) ISBN 978-0-8195-5128-3
Mather (1639-1723), whose son Cotton outlived him by just a few years, can be considered not only the last consequential New England puritan but the very epitome of the breed. In this scholarly yet pleasantly readable biography, the first full-length study of Mather in some 40 years, Hall draws extensively on Mather's diaries in covering both his public career and his private life. Mather experienced religious conversion at 15, reconversion after a period of agonizing doubt, and schooled himself never to laugh in public. Famous for his jeremiads from the pulpit, he saw himself as God's chosen prophet and Massachusetts as the site for the New Jerusalem. He made several trips to England, where he preached to great acclaim and negotiated the political status of New England, became president of Harvard and played an important role in the Salem witch trials. Hall wrote Edward Randolph and the American Colonies, 1676-1703. Illustrations. (January 10)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 456 pages - 978-0-8195-6238-8
Open Ebook - 456 pages - 978-0-8195-7254-7
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