By Perry D. Westbrook
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Extra info for A literary history of New England
The History of Bradford's Manuscript Ironically, Of Plimmoth Plantation was not published until 1856. It remained in New England until the Revolution, when it was carried to Nova Scotia by British troops evacuating Boston. Eventually it found its way into the library of the bishop of London, where it was later discovered. Soon after, it was published by the Massachusetts Historical Society. At present the manuscript is deposited in the State House in Boston. But it did not remain unread or unused during the colonial period.
10 Bradford and those among the colonists who were converted considered themselves God's instruments in furthering a divinely ordained plan for New England. The theology of the Separatists, as well of the Puritans, was that of John Calvina theology that many historians believe to be peculiarly appropriate for a people facing hardships like those which awaited the early settlers at Plymough and Massachusetts Bay; for Calvinist doctrines encourage a high degree of assurance in those who believe in them and have experienced the conversion that marks them as Page 19 among the saved.
Of Plimmoth Plantation is thorough and methodical. 4 This section, book 1, fills in the general background of the Reformation in England and Europe and describes the Separatist movement in which Bradford and others of the Pilgrims had a part in Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. Book 1 then recounts the flight of Bradford's group to Holland in 1608, describes their life there during the next twelve years, gives the reasons for the emigration to North America, discusses the negotiations and preparations for the undertaking, and finally tells the story of the long voyage and the beginning of the settlement at Plymouth.
A literary history of New England by Perry D. Westbrook