The Paddington prophet: Richard Brothers's journey to Jerusalem

The Paddington prophet: Richard Brothers's journey to Jerusalem

by Deborah Madden


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As an educated gentleman and naval officer, Richard Brothers dramatically altered eighteenth-century expectations and perceptions of what prophets were and the nature of prophecy itself. The messianic messages delivered to Londoners by the self-styled prophet are central to the religious politics and culture of the 1790s, mockingly referred to by one contemporary critic as the 'age of prophecy'.

The Paddington Prophet is the first book-length study which probes deep under the skin of Brothers's apparently idiosyncratic writings and religious 'enthusiasm'. Close textual analysis of Brothers's writings shows the extent to which his Biblical, 'prophetic imagination' arose out of the same theological, political and cultural context that spurred 'radicals' like Tom Paine whilst inspiring poets and artists such as William Blake.

Tracing the contours of his visionary experiences, this book exposes the intensity and vibrancy of Brothers's faith, the power of his prophetic imagination and the internal logic of his theology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719082382
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 09/15/2010
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Deborah Madden is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex

Table of Contents


I Image of the divine: origins and prophetic awakenings, 1757-1795

Introduction: Inspiration, imagination and the pegasus of prophetic faith

1. Songs of innocence: origins in Placentia

2. Prophetic awakenings: angels, visions and the immortal demons of futurity

II Image of the Beast: treason, lunacy and legal death, 1795-1798

3. Songs of experience: prophecies and times

4. London: Babylon's spiritual sister

5. The religious politics of prophecy: or, Richard Brothers's Revealed Knowledge confuted

6. 'To enlighten the world from A MAD-HOUSE!' Confinement and the manacles of medical restraint

III A plan of the estate, 1798-1802

7. An excursion of the imagination: Jerusalem restored

8. Sacred territory and the New Covenant of God's Holy Kingdom

IV Farewell green fields, 1802-1824

9. Satan came and mocked: Richard Brothers, Joanna Southcott and the serpent in Paradise

Conclusion The Paddington Prophet



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