Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »
The first modern biography of Cotton Mather, David Levin’s narrative makes clear the development of Mather’s character and experience during forty years in which he was able to identify his own personal life with the fortunes of Congregational New England. On his relationship to his eminent father, the Puritan divine and Massachusetts statesman, Increase Mather, the history and cure of his stammer, his experience as a child prodigy at Harvard, his religious conversion, his vision of an angel, his leadership in the Glorious Revolution in Massachusetts, his encounters with the Devil during the witchcraft crises in Boston and Salem—on all these matters and more, Levin’s account provides new interpretations that make this permanently controversial and legendary figure accessible and comprehensible in human as well as historical terms.
It is the triumph of Levin’s biography that his subject’s personal and literary lives are more closely woven into the fabric of the political history of his place and time than in any previous study. Mather’s character, though seen sympathetically, develops in a narrative that deliberately avoids the constraints of prosecution and defense.