Read e-book online A literary history of New England PDF

By Perry D. Westbrook

ISBN-10: 0934223025

ISBN-13: 9780934223027

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Under the leadership of Roger Williams (ca. 160383) Rhode Island was indeed a place where liberty of conscience was not only tolerated but officially sanctioned. Williams himself was a refugee from Massachusetts, where, among other things, his opposition to infant baptism had made him persona non grata. He was the founder of Providence and eventually persuaded other settlements founded by other dissenters from Massachusetts to join together in one colony, for which he obtained a charter from Page 25 England.

The Mathers believed that the witch trials at Salem were necessary for the protection of the commonwealth. Yet they did not approve of the acceptance of so-called spectral evidencethe assumption that the devil's taking on the shape of the accused was proof of the accused's guilt. They also cautioned against false accusations resulting from malice or hysteria. Actually, the Mathers emerged as forces of moderation. In Memorable Providences, published before the troubles at Salem, Cotton Mather gave a detailed account of four "possessed" children, whose tormentor, when accused by them, was put to death.

The author of this book makes no claim to expertise in feminist criticism. But he does propose to set the record straight as to the contribution that women have made to New England's literary preeminence from the earliest times to the presenta contribution distinctive for its realistic portrayal and assessment of individual, family, and community life, as well as for its deep concern with the very values that give New England its distinction. Finally, this book is a literary history; it may indulge peripherally in criticism, but its intention is not primarily judgmental.

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A literary history of New England by Perry D. Westbrook


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