The Quakers, 1656-1723

The Evolution of an Alternative Community

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Richard C. Allen, Rosemary Moore
The New History of Quakerism
  • University Park, PA: 
    Pennsylvania State University Press
    , November
     360 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


This landmark volume is the first in a century to examine the “Second Period” of Quakerism, a time when the Religious Society of Friends experienced upheavals in theology, authority and institutional structures, and political trajectories as a result of the persecution Quakers faced in the first decades of the movement’s existence. 

The authors and special contributors explore the early growth of Quakerism, assess important developments in Quaker faith and practice, and show how Friends coped with the challenges posed by external and internal threats in the final years of the Stuart age—not only in Europe and North America but also in locations such as the Caribbean. This groundbreaking collection sheds new light on a range of subjects, including the often tense relations between Quakers and the authorities, the role of female Friends during the Second Period, the effect of major industrial development on Quakerism, and comparisons between founder George Fox and the younger generation of Quakers, such as Robert Barclay, George Keith, and William Penn.

Accessible, well-researched, and seamlessly comprehensive, The Quakers, 1656–1723 promises to reinvigorate a conversation largely ignored by scholarship over the last century and to become the definitive work on this important era in Quaker history.

In addition to the authors, the contributors are Erin Bell, Raymond Brown, J. William Frost, Emma Lapsansky-Werner, Robynne Rogers Healey, Alan P. F. Sell, and George Southcombe.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Richard C. Allen is Visiting Fellow in History at Newcastle University.

Rosemary Moore is the author of The Light in Their Consciences: The Early Quakers in Britain, 1646–1666, also published by Penn State University Press.


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