Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Foxe Question

At some point, I was told or read that Foxe's Acts and Monuments (aka Book of Martyrs) was commonly taught as an early reading text and was widely available in churches as well.

I'm wondering, if that's so, was it widely used in the American colonies by early protestant settlers?

EEBO doesn't seem to show any texts printed in the colonies (but my search may have been off in spelling; it certainly wasn't exhaustive).

Any thoughts?

(We're doing Latimer and Ridley today. Should be interesting.)


  1. No idea but I am remembering that Anne read it/lent it to someone in one of the Anne of Green Gables books (I think it was Windy Poplars).

  2. Don't know about the colonial end, but in the late 16th/early 17th C each parish church was supposed to have a bible (usually Geneva until 1611) and Foxe.... So Foxe was very widely known. I'd assume that especially in Massachusetts Bay and Plimouth they would have read Foxe. I have a vague recollection of something on Foxe in Little Women, but I'm not sure.

  3. Early American Imprints only lists one American edition -- published in New York in 1794.

    Doesn't mean they didn't have imported ones, of course . . . but I was a bit surprised to find only one.

  4. Human, Wow, what a lovely gift! :/

    Susan, I've heard the "had to have a bible and Foxe" thing, but I'm not clear why we think we know that. Is it law? Is there somewhere it says so? Or just a common practice?

    Dr. Rural, Oh, cool beans! Thanks! I only looked up through 1700 in EEBO. That does seem really late, doesn't it?