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John Newton (Biography) Hardcover – January 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
The book ends with a Who's Who, more of Newton's writings and a bibliography. It isn't an easy read, but the work is worthwhile if you are interested in a contemporary view of John Newton and his role in the ending of the slave trade. The book also contains the sermon notes that are the basis for Amazing Grace.
If you want an easy read, read Steve Turner's "Amazing Grace." Turner describes the work under review here thus : "Her research was fastidious, an obvious labor of love, and was immensely helpful." If you have read literature of the period, you won't find this a difficult read. It's also good for browsing and makes an excellent companion to Newton's autobiography.
I am very disappointed in Rousse's editing job. She could have done a much, much better job of rearranging the material to make it flow in a readable fashion. The language is awkward and hard to understand. A little editing in updating the language for today's reader would have helped also.
Cecil"s "authorized" biography was written within a year or so of Newton's death. Perhaps, as it was published so soon, Cecil seems to have deliberately glossed over Newton's life while captain of a slave trading ship. Except for a minor allusion, one would have thought Newton's ship was one carrying spices or something. (One needs to remember his being captain of a slave ship was after his "conversion" during a severe storm at sea.)
If you are a scholar and are looking for first sources, then perhaps you will appreciate this book. If you want a readable book on John Newton's life, by all means skip this one.