Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The World, the Flesh & the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The World, the Flesh & the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838

Article excerpt

The World, the Flesh & the Devil: The life and opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838. By Andrew Sharp. (Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press, 2016, Pp. vii, 926. NZ $75.00.)

This weighty book is an important addition to the writings on Marsden and to our understanding of the early history of both Australia and New Zealand. Andrew Sharp is to be congratulated for such a valuable contribution. The work begins with a brief but important essay by Sharp offering some justification for his work. Especially in the case of Marsden, this is useful. In Australia Marsden is often derided as "the flogging parson," arising from his role as a magistrate in administering justice. There is more than a hint of anti-missionary sentiment in this view, not much allayed by secular historians. In New Zealand, Marsden escaped such attitudes for some time and was hailed as the apostle of New Zealand because of his role as the first missionary to the Maori people. However, increasingly over the twentieth century, Marsden came to be seen by leading New Zealand secular historians as someone to be dismissed for both his missionary and his colonial attitudes.

The initial chapters focus on Marsden's background in Yorkshire. By the end of these chapters we can see the world through Marsden's eyes. This lays an important foundation for what follows. …

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