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The History of Thomas Ellwood Written By Himself   By: (1639-1714?)

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In "The History of Thomas Ellwood Written By Himself," author Thomas Ellwood takes readers on an extraordinary journey through his life, offering a riveting and insightful account of the history he experienced firsthand. Spanning various tumultuous periods, from the turbulent years of the English Civil War to the Restoration, Ellwood provides a unique perspective on the political, religious, and social landscapes of his time.

One of the book's most striking aspects is Ellwood's unwavering dedication to recounting events truthfully and objectively. As a Quaker, he holds strong religious beliefs centered on honesty and integrity, which shine through the pages. Ellwood's commitment to honest storytelling allows readers to immerse themselves in the realities of his life, gaining a deep understanding of the challenges he faced and the choices he made.

Ellwood's personal journey is also deeply fascinating. Beginning as a humble servant, he slowly rises through the ranks of society, encountering influential figures such as John Milton and William Penn along the way. His encounters with these notable individuals offer a unique glimpse into the intellectual and cultural milieu of the era, providing a rich backdrop against which his own story unfolds.

Throughout the book, Ellwood's prose is elegant and evocative, making the historical context vivid and relatable. His descriptions of key events, such as the Great Fire of London or the Restoration of the monarchy, are vivid and immersive. Ellwood's ability to transport readers to pivotal moments in history is a testament to his storytelling prowess.

However, there are certain areas where the book could benefit from more in-depth exploration. While Ellwood offers glimpses into his personal relationships and the impact of religious persecution on his life, these aspects often take a backseat to the broader historical narrative. It would have been interesting to delve deeper into the emotional and personal effects of the events Ellwood witnessed, giving readers a more comprehensive understanding of his motivations and inner world.

In conclusion, "The History of Thomas Ellwood Written By Himself" is a compelling autobiography that offers a valuable firsthand account of an important era in English history. Thomas Ellwood's commitment to truth and the quality of his prose make this book a captivating read for history enthusiasts and lovers of well-crafted literature alike. While it could have delved more deeply into the personal side of Ellwood's experiences, the book remains a remarkable testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

First Page:



The life of the simple Quaker, Thomas Ellwood, to whom the pomps and shows of earth were nowhere so vain as in association with the spiritual life of man, may serve as companion to another volume in this Library, the "Life of Wolsey" by George Cavendish, who, as a gentleman of the great prelate's household, made part of his pomp, but had heart to love him in his pride and in his fall. "The History of Thomas Ellwood, written by Himself," is interesting for the frankness with which it makes Thomas Ellwood himself known to us; and again, for the same frank simplicity that brings us nearer than books usually bring us to a living knowledge of some features of a bygone time; and yet again, because it helps us a little to come near to Milton in his daily life. He would be a good novelist who could invent as pleasant a book as this unaffected record of a quiet life touched by great influences in eventful times.

Thomas Ellwood, who was born in 1639, in the reign of Charles the First, carried the story of his life in this book to the year 1683, when he was forty four years old. He outlived the days of trouble here recorded, enjoyed many years of peace, and died, near the end of Queen Anne's reign, aged 74, on the first of March 1713, in his house at Hunger Hill, by Amersham... Continue reading book >>

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