An Industrious Mind: The Worlds of Sir Simonds D'Ewes. By J. Sears McGee. Stanford University Press. 2015. xx + 511pp. £50.00.
|dc.description.abstract||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.|
|dc.title||An Industrious Mind: The Worlds of Sir Simonds D'Ewes. By J. Sears McGee. Stanford University Press. 2015. xx + 511pp. £50.00.|
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