Margaret Fell, Letters, and the Making of Quakerism  book cover
1st Edition

Margaret Fell, Letters, and the Making of Quakerism

ISBN 9780367346690
Published May 21, 2019 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

Intensely persecuted during the English Interregnum, early Quakers left a detailed record of the suffering they endured for their faith. Margaret Fell, Letters, and the Making of Quakerism is the first book to connect the suffering experience with the communication network that drew the faithful together to create a new religious community. This study explores the ways in which early Quaker leaders, particularly Margaret Fell, helped shape a stable organization that allowed for the transition from movement to church to occur. Fell’s role was essential to this process because she developed and maintained the epistolary exchange that was the basis of the early religious community. Her efforts allowed for others to travel and spread the faith while she served as nucleus of the community’s communication network by determining how and where to share news. Memory of the early years of Quakerism were based on the letters Fell preserved. Marjon Ames analyzes not only how Fell’s efforts shaped the inchoate faith, but also how subsequent generations memorialized their founding members.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: Becoming Quaker

Chapter 1: The Making of Quakerism

Chapter 2: The Quaker Letter Network

Chapter 3: Margaret Fell Re-Examined

Chapter 4: Apostolic Epistolary Influences

Chapter 5: Suffering, Prison, and the Law in the Quaker Tradition

Chapter 6: The Afterlife of the Movement



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Marjon Ames teaches at Appalachian State University, USA.


"Ames's analysis of the letter archive Fell created has resulted in an important reappraisal of the role of Margaret Fell as absolutely crucial to the growth and long-term stability of the Quakers."

- Teresa Feroli, New York University, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal