An Industrious Mind: The Worlds of Sir Simonds D'Ewes. By J. Sears McGee. Stanford University Press. 2015. xx + 511pp. £50.00.
MetadataShow full item record
SMITH, D. (2016). An Industrious Mind: The Worlds of Sir Simonds D'Ewes. By J. Sears McGee. Stanford University Press. 2015. xx + 511pp. £50.00.. History, 101 (345), 303-305. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-229x.12208
This book is a major achievement. Reading it is rather like becoming much better acquainted with a person whom one has known superficially for many years. Sir Simonds D'Ewes composed by far the fullest surviving private journal of the proceedings of the Long Parliament, and historians working on the 1640s have naturally drawn extensively on it, especially those published sections which cover the years 1640–2. Yet until now the journal's author has remained a relatively shadowy figure, despite the fact that at his death in April 1650 D'Ewes left behind more than seventy volumes of papers containing correspondence, sermon notes, historical works, an autobiography, and diaries. This prodigious output leads McGee to suggest plausibly that D'Ewes was ‘the individual whose life is more fully documented than any other individual in Britain (and perhaps even Europe as a whole) in the first half of the seventeenth century’ (p. 6). McGee's painstaking reconstruction of D'Ewes's diverse interests and activities offers a wonderfully rich insight into the beliefs and values of an early seventeenth‐century English Puritan, and as we journey through his mental worlds, the categories of political, religious, legal, social and cultural history blend into each other in a very satisfying manner.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-229x.12208
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/292510
Recommended or similar items
The current recommendation prototype on the Apollo Repository will be turned off on 03 February 2023. Although the pilot has been fruitful for both parties, the service provider IKVA is focusing on horizon scanning products and so the recommender service can no longer be supported. We recognise the importance of recommender services in supporting research discovery and are evaluating offerings from other service providers. If you would like to offer feedback on this decision please contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org