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First among Friends

George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism

First among Friends by H. Larry Ingle
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In First Among Friends, the first scholarly biography of George Fox (1624-91), H. Larry Ingle examines the fascinating life of the reformation leader and founding organizer of the Religious Society of Friends, more popularly known today as the Quakers. Ingle places Fox within the upheavals of the English Civil Wars, Revolution, and Restoration, showing him and his band of "rude" disciples challenging the status quo, particularly during the Cromwellian Interregnum. Unlike leaders of similar groups, Fox responded to the conservatism of the Stuart restoration by facing down challenges from internal dissidents, and leading his followers to persevere until the 1689 Act of Toleration. It was this same sense of perseverance that helped the Quakers to survive and remain the only religious sect of the era still existing today. This insightful study uses broad research in contemporary manuscripts and pamphlets, many never examined systematically before. Firmly grounded in primary sources and enriched with gripping detail, this well-written and original study reveals unknown sides of one who was clearly "First Among Friends." 
Oxford University Press; January 1996
420 pages; ISBN 9780198024026
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Title: First among Friends
Author: H. Larry Ingle