old clothes,” such professional robings and personal plumage as makes it difficult, save in the revealing Diary
, to see the man himself.
The Magnalia Christi Americana
, treating the history of New England
from 1620 to 1698, was published in a tall London
folio of nearly 800 pages in 1702.
It is divided into seven books, and proceeds, by methods entirely unique, to tell of Pilgrim and Puritan
divines and governors, of Harvard College, of the churches of New England
, of marvelous events, of Indian wars; and in general to justify, as only a member of the Mather dynasty could justify, the ways of God to Boston
knew this book well and found much honey in the vast carcass.
To have had four such readers and a biographer like Barrett Wendell
must be gratifying to Cotton Mather
's fellow-townsman Judge Samuel Sewall
has been read more generally in recent years than anything written by Mather
It was begun in 1673, nine years earlier than the first entry in Mather
, and it ends in 1729, while Mather
's closes in 1724.
As a picture of everyday happenings in New England
's Diary is
as far superior to Mather