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Errands into the Metropolis: New England Dissidents in Revolutionary London (Reencounters with Colonialism: New Perspectives on the Americas)
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“Errands has some interesting things to say about authorship, crossoceanic correspondence, absences and presences, and the ability to participate fully in Atlantic religion and/or networks, and how to fashion narratives in London to score victories against over mighty, Bay Colony, Puritan intrusions. . . . This book's real contribution is to show how narrative strategies refined at sea were stage-managed to link suffering and the choking of liberties in New England to old England's own troubles and tense debates.”—New England Quarterly
“Throughout Errands into the Metropolis, Field demonstrates himself to be a truly transnational and transdisciplinary scholar. His careful historical research on both sides of the Atlantic, combined with skillful literary analysis, newly illuminates the purposes of texts such as Williams’s Key and John Clarke’s Ill Newes from New England. For historians, Field’s book also makes an interesting and unexpected companion to Peter Silver’s Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America.”—Early American Literature
“A compelling interpretation on how the power of print helped clarify and shape New England politics . . . . Field’s literary approach to tumultuous colonial New England politics is refreshing and adds a new dimension to early American studies.”—Sixteenth Century Journal
“Errands into the Metropolis makes an original and important contribution to the study of early modern transatlantic culture and histories of the book. Field’s work offers a powerful new model for understanding the relation between print and cultural authority.” (Jim Egan, Department of English, Brown University)
“Errands into the Metropolis offers a compelling, succinct new vision of the political imagination that shaped New England's settlement. The stories told here about contests over religious tolerance and space—in which Quakers in Barbados, Native sachems, unorthodox dissenters, and English printers and patrons all play key parts—challenge us to revise our understanding of early New English authorship, intellectual life, and politics.” (Matt Cohen, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin)
Top customer reviews
Chapter 5 contains something of a digression from the Rhode Island focus of the book in discussing the remarkable rhetorical efforts of the persecuted religious group called Quakers, resulting in the prohibition, in 1661, by King Charles II of any further executions in Massachusetts Bay of Quakers. Although Massachusetts Bay soon circumvented that order by passing a law (the Cart and Whip Act) that effectuated extreme torture on Quakers by means of severe whipping, the 1661 royal order was a step in the right direction. This and other episodes in the book show that English rule was not always inimical to the just rights of colonists. Indeed, during the seventeenth century, the threat to what we now call democratic principles originated more from the New England theocracies than from the various republican and monarchical governments of England. The Rhode Island Charter that John Clarke obtained in 1663 from Charles II was the most enlightened constitutional document of its time.