Readership: Students and scholars of seventeenth-century literature and religion, life writing, and historians of the book trade.
Kathleen Lynch, Executive Director, Folger Institute, Folger Shakespeare Library
Kathleen Lynch is Executive Director of the Folger Institute. She has written on the religious literature of the seventeenth century from the perspectives of material culture and the book trade.
"This is a significant contribution to the study of the literature, politics, and religion of England, New England, and Ireland in the seventeenth century, and the multitude of illuminating details and surprising but suggestive connections on offer should stimulate the thinking of any reader interested in these fields." - David Parry, The Cambridge Quarterly
"Kathleen Lynch's enriching account of Protestant autobiography not only returns these narratives of interiority to the fraught social world in which they were composed and read; it also strengthens a growing interest in seeing printers, publishers and booksellers as active, creative, ideologically driven agents." - Adam Smyth, Times Literary
"an important and convincing contribution to this new stage of the debate about the origins and evolution of life-writing in early modernity." - Crawford Gribben, Journal of Northern Renaissance
"This is a fascinating study of Protestant autobiographies printed during the seventeenth century by English authors in the Atlantic world." - Retha M. Warnicke, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
Abbreviations and conventions
List of illustrations
Introduction: No self is an island: The validations of autobiographical truths
1: Any politic body: The polemics of conversion in the 1620s
2: Icons basilicae: Civil war and religious identity
3: 1653: Experiencing election in a true gospel-church state
4: Writing religious identities in Bedford: Exemplary lives in historical perspective
5: Beyond the lives of particular men
Conclusion: Truth and consequences