One of Cotton Mather's Most Important Works
Cotton Mather. Magnalia Christi Americana:
or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England, From its First
Planting in the year 1620. Unto the Year of Our Lord, 1698. In
Seven Books. London: Thomas Parkhurst, 1702. First edition. Folio.
Approximately 12.5 x 7.5 inches. , 38; , 75, ; , 238;
, 125-222; 100; , 88; 118, double-column pages. Lacking the
double-page engraved map. Nineteenth century half brown pebbled
morocco over brown cloth boards, spine lettered in gilt in
compartments, five raised bands, all edges marbled, marbled
endleaves. Some damage to spine, front joint starting at bottom,
some rubbing and mild soiling to binding, general title-page
re-attached and edgeworn, some ink notations to first two leaves,
verso of general title with library de-accession stamp and repair
to verso, text dampstained and foxed, with some occasional ink
markings or notes. Early twentieth-century gift inscription to
front binder's blank. Still, a very good copy.
"As New England grew, there appeared, in various directions, a tendency to diverge from the rigid principles of the early days. To this we owe the single work of the seventeenth century in America which has any claim to literary permanence. This is the Magnalia Christi America, or Church History of New England, written between 1690 and 1700 by Cotton Mather, at that time the most conspicuous Conservative minister of Boston. Hastily written and far from trustworthy in detail, this book is in spirit a document of historical importance. ... [T]his big, confused folio was flung together; historical records, biographies of saintly ministers and magistrates, the story of Harvard College, the creeds and disciplines of the Churches, and the awful warnings for those who fell away..." (Ward, et al.).
ESTC T79039. Sabin 46392. Ward, Prothero, and Leathes, The Cambridge Modern History, 727.
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