Long considered a highly distinctive English writer, Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) has not been treated as the significant historian he was. Fuller's The Church-History of Britain (1655) was the first comprehensive history of Christianity from antiquity to the upheavals of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the tumultuous events of the English civil wars. His numerous publications outside the genre of history-sermons, meditations, pamphlets on current thought and events-reflected and helped to shape public opinion during the revolutionary era in which he lived. Thomas Fuller: Discovering England's Religious Past highlights the fat that Fuller was a major contributor to the flowering of historical writing in early modern England. W. B. Patterson provides both a biography of Thomas Fuller's life and career in the midst of the most wrenching changes his country had ever experienced and a critical account of the origins, growth, and achievements of a new kind of history in England, a process to which he made a significant and original contribution.
The volume begins with a substantial introduction dealing with memory, uses of the past, and the new history of England in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Fuller was moved by the changes in Church and state that came during the civil wars that led to the trial and execution of King Charles I and to the Interregnum that followed. He sought to revive the memory of the English past, recalling the successes and failures of both distant and recent events. The book illuminates Fuller's focus on history as a means of understanding the present as well as the past, and on religion and its important place in English culture and society.
Thomas Fuller by W. B. Patterson was published by Oxford University Press in May 2017. The ISBN for Thomas Fuller is 9780198793700.