Johnson's Wonder-Working Providence, 1628-1651

Johnson's Wonder-Working Providence, 1628-1651

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Johnson's Wonder-Working Providence, 1628-1651

Johnson's Wonder-Working Providence, 1628-1651

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Excerpt

Late in the year 1653, but under date of 1654, Nathaniel Brooke , a London publisher, "at the Angel in Cornhill," brought out a small octavo book of two hundred and thirtysix pages, entitled A History of New-England, from the English planting in the Yeere 1628 until the Yeere 1652, etc. The title, inexact in any case, for the book is rather a history of Massachusetts than of all New England, was evidently affixed by the publisher. His advertisements show that at one time he thought of giving the book the title Historicall Relation of the First Planting of the English in New England in the Year 1628 to the Year 1653 and all the Materiall Passages happening there. But many reiterations in the text of the book show that the author's own title for his production was that which appears in the running headlines of the printed book, and by which it has been generally known, The Wonder-working Providence of Sion's Saviour in New England. The author's name nowhere appears in the book.

Five years later the publisher took advantage of this latter fact, since the sale of the work had been so disappointing as to leave many copies on his hands, to utilize the sheets in another of his ventures. He had in hand a book entitled America Painted to the Life. Of the four parts of which he composed it, the first and fourth were apparently written by Ferdinando Gorges, Esquire grandson of the celebrated patentee Sir Ferdinando Gorges, while the second was by that knight himself. Brooke impudently sandwiched-in the unsold sheets of Wonder-working Providence as Part III., "Written by Sir Ferdinando Gorges Knight" (the grandfather), and . . .

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