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The Quakers

For discussion:

How should we explain the Quakers’ appeal and dramatic success in the 1650s?

Was the spirit of their teaching and behaviour more important than their doctrines in explaining the dynamism of the Quaker movement and the fears it aroused?


For general surveys of the radical sects, including the Quakers:

J.F. McGregor & B. Reay, eds., Radical Religion in the English Revolution (1985)

C.Hill, The World Turned Upside Down (1972)

On the Quakers:

B Reay, The Quakers in the English Revolution (best short treatment, inc. anti-Quakerism)

H Barbour, The Quakers in Puritan England (a more religious interpretation)

A Cole, ‘Quakers and the English Revolution’, Past & Present, 9 (1956)

Phyllis Mack, Visionary Women (1992) (mainly on the Quakers)

C Trevett, Women and Quakerism in the 17th Century (1991)

G Nuttall, ‘Overcoming the World: the early Quaker programme’, in Studies in Church History, vol. 10, ed D. Baker (n.b. a book series, not a periodical; look under title or editor)

W C Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism (2nd edn 1955) (elderly, but still the most full account)

A C Davies, The Quakers in English Society 1655-1725 (2000)

L Damrosch, The Sorrows of the Quaker Jesus: James Nayler and the Puritan Crackdown on the Free Spirit (1996)

Kate Peters, Print Culture and the Early Quakers (2005)

For primary sources see:

The Journal of George Fox, ed J Nickalls (1952)

H Barbour and A Roberts, eds, Early Quaker WritingsThe Diary of Thomas Burton, ed J T Rutt (1828), vol. 1 (contains the parliamentary debate on James Nayler)