Wallington's World: A Puritan Artisan in Seventeenth-Century London / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


Seventeenth-century England has been richly documented by th lives of kings and their great ministers, the nobility and gentry, and bishops and preachers, but we have very little firsthand information on ordinary citizens.

This unique portrait of the life, thought, and attitudes of a London Puritan turner (lathe worker) is based on the extraordinary personal papers of Nehemiah Wallington—2,600 surviving pages of memoirs, religious reflections, political reportage, and letters. Coming to maturity during the reign of James I, Wallington witnessed the persecution of Puritans during Archbishop Laud’s ascendancy under Charles I, welcomed what he thought would be the godly revolution brought by the Long Parliament, and watched with increasing disillusionment the falure of that dream under the Rump republic and the Cromwellian Protectorate.

The author reconstructs Wallington’s inner world, allowing us to see what an ordinary man made of a lifetime of reading Puritan doctrine and listening to the sermons of Puritan preachers. For the first time we can penetrate the mind of one of those who made up the London mob calling for the end of episcopacy and the death of the Earl of Strafford in 1641, who welcomed the revolution, if not the war that followed, and who finally came to approve the death of his king.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Nehemiah Wallington 1598-1658 was a simple and firmly Puritan member of the Turners Guild in London. In extraordinary compliance with the Puritan dictum to lead a disciplined and examined life, he filled a number of notebooks with personal memoirs, political observations, and religious advice. Using this material and other relevant sources, Seaver has produced a richly documented reconstruction of Wallington's world view. The result is a look at the turbulent early Stuart era through the eyes of a common man. Since Wallington was an urban layperson, this book complements the rural and clerical viewpoint of Alan MacFarlane's The Family Life of Ralph Josselin: a seventeenth-century clergyman 1970. Appropriate for academic libraries. Ronald Fritze, History Dept., Lamar Univ., Beaumont, Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804714327
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1988
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    Excellent book (from another student's perspective )

    I also read this for a college history class and thought it was an excellent insight into a more common man's life, for which we have so little information. It's not boring; it is just a journal written by a man from a time in which the language was different, and he wrote about the simple and mundane aspects of his life (like we all do in our journals). But through his words you can learn about what it was like to be someone in 17th century London who had a skill and trade, but was not nobility. I read this in 1993, and it still comes to mind from time to time, which is why I decided to look it up tonight. It's not Hollywood. It's evidence and reality and a unique source of information.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 1999

    This is an incredibly hard book to understand

    I am a college student, required to read this book for a final in one of my classes. I find it completely uninteresing reading. It is written in the most boaring manner possible. The class I have to read it for is a History of England course. I love the class and find it very interesting - but a warning to all you teachers and professers out there looking for reading for your students, this is a particularly bad choice. I would not reccomend this book to anybody who is not thinking of becoming a historian.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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