Fiction Mary Lee Settle I, Roger Williams

ISBN 13: 9780393049053

I, Roger Williams

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9780393049053: I, Roger Williams

The story of approaching civil war in England is told through the eyes of Roger Williams, who was taken from obscurity to clerk for the celebrated English jurist Sir Edward Coke, where he witnessed firsthand the brutal politics of Jacobean London. By the author of Blood Tie.

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About the Author:

Mary Lee Settle is the author of Blood Tie, winner of the National Book Award, and The Beulah Quintet. She lives in Corinth, Vermont.

From Booklist:

Settle, taking the life of Rhode Island founder Roger Williams as her foundation, fills in some gaps and builds a compelling piece of imaginative autobiography, with Williams as an old man looking back over the events of his life. The facts are these: Williams was born in London in around 1603 (historians are unsure of the exact year). His family were tradespeople, but 14-year-old Roger's intelligence and facility with languages brings him to the attention of the eminent jurist Sir Edward Coke. He becomes Coke's secretary, an eyewitness to some of the major political developments of the time, and from Coke he absorbs many of the ideas, such as the separation between church and state, that shape his later career. Under Coke's patronage, Williams goes to Cambridge and becomes a member of the clergy, but his dissenting views land him in trouble. In 1630, he and his wife eventually set sail for New England. He finds the Puritan church in Massachusetts Bay just as corrupt as the church in England, and his radical stances, which include friendship with the Indians, get him banished from the colony. Making his way to Narragansett Bay, he founds Providence, and later returns to England to secure a charter. There is much fascinating material here, but some readers may be disappointed by the fact that so much of the novel deals with Williams' earlier (and most formative) days, while seeming to rush through the 50 years after his arrival in America. The language, which is meant to be true to the age, may also be a challenge. But patient readers will be rewarded, and will want to find out more about the people and events that Settle presents here. Mary Ellen Quinn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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