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Anna Trapnel’s Report and Plea; or, A Narrative of Her Journey from London into Cornwall

In 1654, Anna Trapnel — a Baptist, Fifth Monarchist, millenarian, and visionary from London — fell into a trance during which she prophesied passionately and at length against Oliver Cromwell and his government. The prophecies attracted widespread public attention, and resulted in an invitation to travel to Cornwall. Her Report and Plea, republished here for the first time, is a lively and engaging firsthand account of the visit, which concluded in her arrest, a court hearing, and imprisonment. Part memoir, part travelogue, and part impassioned defense of her beliefs and actions, the Report and Plea offers vivid and fascinating insight into the life and times of an early modern woman claiming her place at the center of the tumultuous political events of mid-seventeenth-century England.

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"This edition is a revelation: behind the Fifth Monarchy prophet exists the historical Anna Trapnel, a woman who endured hardship, found communities, spoke truth to power, and who emerges as a sophisticated and inspiring activist and literary figure from an earlier era. The text assumes its place in the literary canon alongside such spiritual autobiographies as those of Fox and Bunyan. The annotations and introduction frame the work beautifully for students and specialists alike, never overshadowing it. This is an outstanding, user-friendly, and highly researched edition, all one could wish for, and more."

Sharon Achinstein, The Johns Hopkins University

Table of Contents

Illustrations xi
Abbreviations xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Bibliography 137
Index 151

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