Wednesday, May 07, 2014


My ancestor Edward Holyoke is overshadowed  the accomplishments of his son Elizur. But I discovered recently that Edward had written  a book. It first has, without a doubt,
the longest title for a book I've ever seen:

The doctrine of life, or, Of mans redemption, by the seed of Eve, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, &c. as it was taught in severall periods of time, from Gen. 3. 15. till Christ came in the flesh, to fulfill all typicall prefigurations of him by his death : wherein also sundry other fundamentall points are discussed and cleared from some common mistakes : as Daniels chronologie of seventy sevens, which is cleared from the uncertainty which too many expositors have unadvisedly cast upon it : and about the Jewes calling, that it must not be understood of any return to Canaan, or of their restauration to a perspicuous common wealth any more, but of the calling of a remnant of them to the faith, in the countries where they live dispersed : and with the true nature of our Lords sufferings, with sundry other such like points, as may be seen in the table : propounded by way of question and answer, with annotations thereunto annexed : divided into three parts / by Edward Holyoke of New-England.   

Try saying all that five times fast!

The book included a story about King Solomon entitled:

A Prosopopeia on Solomon's fall, by the Temptations of his idolatrous wives to the ruin of his Kingdome and posterity, in granting them the liberty of conscience for the practice of their idolatrous Rites, framed by way of Dialogue between King Solomon, and Tirzana 

the Queen.

The story was even included in some 19th century anthologies of American literature. If you are curious, you can read it here. By modern standards it is misogynist but it probably is a good representation of how the Puritans looked upon the wiles of women in 1658 when it was published.

Edward Holyoke was himself an example of a certain type of Puritan colonist, a prosperous well educated layman with an interest in scholarship and religion.

In the next part, I'll discuss his will.  

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