The writings of Richard Hooker are of central interest to those studying English Renaissance thought and literature. In this, the third volume of a much-needed critical edition of the Works of Richard Hooker, are the posthumous books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. Hooker planned the Laws in eight books, but he died shortly after publication of Book Five. Books Six, Seven, and Eight, which contain his analysis of jurisdiction, episcopacy, and the royal supremacy, are here transcribed from versions that have the most authority. The volume also includes Hooker’s autograph notes toward those texts (brought to light by P. G. Stanwood in the course of his research) and the contemporary notes by George Cranmer and Edwin Sandys on a lost draft of Book Six. Mr. Stanwood’s introduction lays to rest all doubts about the authenticity of the last three books as we have them, doubts current since publication of Walton’s Life of Hooker in 1662.
This edition, sponsored by the Folger Library, is providing authoritative texts to serve as a basis for the scholarly reappraisal of Richard Hooker’s writings that is presently underway.