(M. Kate Peters)
Married Michael Frearson (a historian); children: Tom Frearson, Alice Frearson, Edward Frearson. Education: Manchester University, received B.A.; Liverpool University, M.A., 1989; Cambridge University, Ph.D., 1996.
University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, former lecturer in history; University College London, London, England, lecturer and course director, 1998-2005, honorary research associate; Cambridge University, Churchill College, Cambridge, England, teaching bi-fellow in history, 2007—.
Postgraduate award, British Academy.
Print Culture and the Early Quakers, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to books, including The Emergence of Quaker Writing: Dissenting Literature in Seventeenth-Century England, edited by Thomas N. Corns and David Loewenstein, Frank Cass, 1994; Gender and Christian Religion, edited by Robert Swanson, Boydell Press, 1998; and (with Ian Green) The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume IV: 1557-1695, edited by John Barnard and D.F. McKenzie, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Based on doctoral work and individually published articles, Kate Peters's first book, Print Culture and the Early Quakers, examines how members of a movement known for its emphasis on silence and inspired speech used printed materials to disseminate their ideas, discipline their preachers, and encourage change on both personal and community levels. Assessing the work as "a very impressive and broad ranging discussion," H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online contributor Ted Vallance noted that Peters had made "an important contribution both to the study of early Quakerism and the investigation of the role of print in the Civil War and Interregnum." Writing in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, David Como remarked on how Peters "deftly" uses both manuscript and printed sources to support her arguments; while he felt that she might have more thoroughly examined historical connections between the Quakers and previous groups, he maintained that the book "offers a very considerable contribution to our understanding of the birth of the Quaker movement, as well as an important addition to the growing series of studies clarifying the role of the press in England's revolutionary tumults." Ariel Hessayon in Reviews in History took issue with some of Peters's assertions but nevertheless deemed several of her chapters "excellent" and "extremely effective" and commented that "her notion that the Quaker leadership had a strategy for spreading their faith by targeting urban centres with a proselytising campaign that would create martyrs for the movement whose experience and sufferings could then be publicized to a wider audience through the medium of print … deserves to be taken seriously." Historian reviewer Thomas D. Hamm summed up the book by saying, "There is simply nothing not to praise about Peters's work. Wide-ranging in its research, unobtrusive in dialogue with other historians, careful and thoughtful in its conclusions, it is an important contribution to our understanding of both a religious movement and a critical period in British history."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June, 2006, David Zaret, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 900.
English Historical Review, December, 2006, Barry Reay, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 1538.
Historian, winter, 2006, Thomas D. Hamm, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 889.
History, July, 2007, Simon Dixon, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 398.
Huntington Library Quarterly, fall, 2006, Evan Haefeli, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 469.
Journal of British Studies, October, 2006, Jonathan Wright, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 956.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January, 2007, David Como, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 158.
Journal of Religion, April, 2007, Jane E. Calvert, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 278.
Renaissance Quarterly, spring, 2006, Alexandra Halasz, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, p. 271.
Seventeenth-Century News, spring-summer, 2006, Susanna Calkins, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, pp. 54-56.
Sixteenth Century Journal, winter, 2006, Andrew Cambers, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers, pp. 1103-1104.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (April, 2006), Ted Vallance, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers.
Reviews in History,http://www.history.ac.uk/ (September, 2007), Ariel Hessayon, review of Print Culture and the Early Quakers.
University of Cambridge Faculty of History Web site,http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/ (September 22, 2008), faculty profile.