With all the work taking place in Quaker studies today, it is surprising that Penington has been so long ignored. Perhaps the lack of a robust, prophetic life-story, combined with the complexity and subtlety of his writings, accounts for that lapse. In any case, Keiser and Moore have rendered considerable service through this volume. Part one is written by Moore. It outlines Penington’s life, allowing him to speak extensively for himself in letters and other writings. Priority has been given to materials not previously published.
Keiser’s contributions supply helpful historical context for new students of early Quakerism, as well as considerable biographical detail, taking the time to sketch Penington’s family background, early years, brief flirtation with Ranterism, marriage to Mary Proude Springett, their family life, Quaker convincements, and subsequent troubles with persecuting authorities.
A hard book to track down, even in its native England.