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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

VII. Historical and Political Writers

§ 17. Neal’s History of the Puritans

Of Daniel Neal’s History of the Puritans, from 1517 to 1548, the first volume appeared in 1732. His reputation, founded on his pastoral work in London, had been enhanced by his History of New England (1720), which was very well received in America. The first volume of the work by which he is best known and which is in part founded on the earlier compilations of John Evans, owed much in its account of the Elizabethan period to Strype; it contains a courageous and convincing defence of the policy of Cromwell. Isaac Madox’s attack upon it was followed by Zachary Grey’s heavier fire against its successors, to which latter Neal left his posthumous editor to reply. His own straightforward attitude and brave spirit well represent the manly nonconformity of his age.