EMLO: The Correspondence of Richard Baxter

EMLO logoEarly Modern Letters Online has now launched its catalogue of the letters of Richard Baxter, with editorial apparatus currently relating to 8 of Baxter’s letters. Baxter’s presence in EMLO is set to increase substantially as a consequence of The Richard Baxter Correspondence Project (general editors: Johanna Harris and Alison Searle); the project will also produce a comprehensive critical edition of Baxter’s correspondence in nine volumes to be published by Oxford University Press. As the EMLO website states, ‘Through over twelve-hundred-and-sixty extant letters, ranging between 1638 and 1696, we can trace Baxter’s remarkable life and career. We also have a rare documentary insight into nearly six decades of seventeenth-century English life. Baxter’s correspondence traverses some of the most crucial decades of British cultural and constitutional history, recording the reigns of Charles I, the years of the civil wars, the Interregnum and Cromwellian Protectorate, as well as the reigns of Charles II and James II. These were also years in which, as the letters bear witness, trade, global commerce, and travel flourished, alongside key advancements in science and the chartered success of the Royal Society. In addition to his central role in his nation’s struggles over its religio-political identity, Baxter’s letters also show him to be connected to key players in all these other intellectual spheres. Although he is chiefly known, now, for his pastoral ministry and nonconformity, Baxter’s letters offer authentic and often startling insights into a complex and richly diverse life that deserves to be better known.’

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