Puritan Prophet

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Peter Kaplon
History 204
09/20/10
Book Review

Puritan Prophet

The book Anne Hutchinson: Puritan Prophet, by Timothy D. Hall, tells the story of a strong-willed woman whose faith and intellect brought her about to play a major role in early New England Puritan life. Hall tries to answer many questions surrounding Hutchinson throughout the book to try and bring clarity to a powerful historic event.

The main question concerning Hall, in this book, is “what should we make of this remarkable woman and her tragic fate?” (Hall, 2). Hall plots the story of Anne Hutchinson in chronological order throughout the book, while using sources from not only historians of today, but also from firsthand accounts of people who lived during that time period. For example, Hall uses many references and quotes from John Winthrop’s Short Story of the Rise, Reign, and Ruin of the Antinomians, Familists, and Libertines.

In order to understand who Anne Hutchinson is, we have to understand where she came from. Timothy Hall does a great job of setting the scene for his readers during the first chapter of this book. Anne was born during the Protestant Reformation in England to Francis and Bridget Marbury. Francis was a charismatic preacher who believed in the Puritan way but was forced to conform to the English Church and their practices to avoid persecution. Anne’s mother and father would bring her up to be well educated not only in the Puritan beliefs of the bible, but also in midwifery and healing. Anne eventually would marry William Hutchinson who would turn out to be an understanding and loving man, despite the problems that would soon arise from his wife’s actions. The Hutchinson’s began to assemble quite the Puritan family and would soon join many others Puritans in the trek to America in order to avoid religious persecution. Anne Hutchinson’s main reason for leaving was because she now lacked a teacher and guider for her Protestant views, which were essential in her and...
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