This collection of essays on seventeenth-century Virginia, the first such collection on the Chesapeake in nearly twenty-five years, highlights emerging directions in scholarship and helps set a new agenda for research in the next decade and beyond. The contributors represent some of the best of a younger generation of scholars who are building on, but also criticizing and moving beyond, the work of the so-called Chesapeake School of social history that dominated the historiography of the region in the 1970s and 1980s. Employing a variety of methodologies, analytical strategies, and types of evidence, these essays explore a wide range of topics and offer a fresh look at the early religious, political, economic, social, and intellectual life of the colony.
Douglas Bradburn, Binghamton University, State University of New York * John C. Coombs, Hampden-Sydney College * Victor Enthoven, Netherlands Defense Academy * Alexander B. Haskell, University of California Riverside * Wim Klooster, Clark University * Philip Levy, University of South Florida * Philip D. Morgan, Johns Hopkins University * William A. Pettigrew, University of Kent * Edward DuBois Ragan, Valentine Richmond History Center * Terri L. Snyder, California State University, Fullerton * Camilla Townsend, Rutgers University * Lorena S. Walsh, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Each essay in this book rests securely on solid evidentiary foundations, and all are finely drawn. The overall result is a collection of uniformly high quality from first to last that yields generous rewards for the investment of a reader’s time. In short, this book is a substantial addition to the literature on early Virginia, and it is likely to become a road map for future research and reflection.
Early Modern Virginia delivers what it promises by providing us a set of engaging essays that brings new research methods and sources, new questions, and new interpretations to the study of colonial Virginia. But more importantly, its essays address questions of religion, of political and economic thought, and of the cultural relevance of place far beyond Virginia’s borders. It will force readers to rethink the shifting early modern world.
[A] book that encapsulates many of the recent breakthroughs in this dynamic field of study and that embodies the best traditions of Chesapeake historical scholarship while also moving forward with important new interpretations.
Douglas Bradburn, Associate Professor of History at Binghamton University, State University of New York, is the author of The Citizenship Revolution: Politics and the Making of the American Union, 1774–1804. John C. Coombs is Associate Professor of History at Hampden-Sydney College.