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Editor's Notes The republication of a book in a paperback edition often attracts a new audience and allows for a fresh look at the subject it treats. Perhaps this will be the case with the reissue of AL. Maycock's Nicholas Ferrar of Little Gidding (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdman's Press, 1980; xi + 322 pp.; two appendixes; short bibliography; index; $6.95). Originally published in 1938 by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, this study is filled with instances of a kind of pietistic hyperbole that may momentarily undermine our trust in Maycock's critical judgment. Ferrar's mother is spoken of as "one of the great Englishwomen of history" (p. 7); Mary and Anna Collett (nieces of Ferrar and members of the household) were "two of the most saintly women who have ever adorned the Church of England" (p. 1 78); even Joshua Mapletoft seems to have the "presence of a saint" (p. 253); and in general, "The Church of England has never numbered amongst itschildren a more loving company of sons and daughters than the community of Little Gidding" (p. 219). We might expect that such a premise as that Ferrar was "one of the greatest Christian Englishmen that have ever lived" (p. 3) might be the foundation of the lifetime of work Maycock devoted to Ferrar and his circle, but it will hardly convince every reader to share some of Maycock's judgments; for example, that "it can hardly be doubted" that Ferrar's lost literary works, if found, "would rank among the prose masterpieces of the Caroline age" (pp.270-71 ). But the core of the book is Maycock's intimate and extensive knowledge of the details of Ferrar's life, and given the relative inaccessibility of the Ferrar Papers — except, of course, for the selection printed by Bernard Blackstone, also in 1938 — this book remains an invaluable resource. Interestingly, though Maycock spends much time on the devotional life at Little Gidding, he focuses almost equally on Ferrar's deep involvement in the secular world. One of the important messages of this biography, it seems to me, is that we need not conceive of an absolute disjunction between the world of High Anglican devotion and the world of business. Life goes on — 63 EDITOR'S NOTES indeed, business goes on — without being repudiated, but rather by being invigorated and sustained by devotions at Little Gidding, which we risk misunderstanding if we think of only as a "retreat." Because of the early influential studies of Weber and Tawney, we are used to seeing an alliance of business and devotion in radical Protestantism; Maycock's picture of Ferrar as not only a saint but also as "one of the most business-like of men," whose "talents were very much those of the best type of civil servant" (p. 1 90), may make us more aware of such an alliance in High Anglicans as well (including, I suspect, Herbert). Especially now that it is available in paperback, Nicholas Ferrar of Little Gidding deserves a place on our home as well as university library shelves, set alongside volumes by Herbert and Crashaw, whose life and work are illuminated by this study. The University of Chicago Press has begun a new series of books called "Chicago Originals." Each volume is bound in stiff paper, not cloth, and because of this they advertise that they are "able to produce important works of scholarship in durable form at more accessible prices." As it turns out, the books are not all that inexpensive, and it remains to be seen how durable they are — my review copy shows every sign of wearing only a bit better than any other paperback book — but if the first volume is any indication, their most substantive advertising claim is true: Essays in Persuasion On SeventeenthCentury English Literature by Frank Livingstone Huntley (1981; xi + 162 pp.; short index; $14.00) is indeed an important work of scholarship. All but three of the essays contained herein have been published previously and are fairly easily available — and already well known to scholars in the field —but Huntley hasdone much revising, cutting, and combining to make up this volume. There...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-1192
Print ISSN
0161-7435
Pages
p. 63
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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