The early Quaker movement was remarkable for its prolific use of the printing press. Carefully orchestrated by a handful of men and women who were the movement's leaders, printed tracts were an integral feature of the rapid spread of Quaker ideas in the 1650s. Drawing on very rich documentary evidence, this book examines how and why Quakers were able to make such effective use of print. As a crucial element in an extensive proselytising campaign, printed tracts enabled the emergence of the Quaker movement as a uniform, national phemen. The book explores the impressive organization underpinning Quaker pamphleteering and argues that the early movement should t be dismissed as a disillusioned spiritual remnant of the English Revolution, but was rather a purposeful campaign which sought, and achieved, effective dialogue with both the body politic and society at large.
Kate Peters is Lecturer in Archives and Records Management, University College London.