Spraggon, Julie 1962–
Spraggon, Julie 1962–
Born May 19, 1962. Education: University of London, Ph.D.
Academic and historian. Institute of Historical Research, University of London, London, England, deputy editor.
Puritan Iconoclasm during the English Civil War, Boydell Press (Rochester, NY), 2003.
Julie Spraggon serves as a deputy editor with the University of London's Institute of Historical Research.
Spraggon published her first book, Puritan Iconoclasm during the English Civil War, in 2003. The book looks into the conflict between Puritan iconoclasm and commonly practiced religion in England during the period of the English Civil War in the seventeenth century. Spraggon touches on the reasons for this iconoclasm in referencing works by scholars John Phillips and Margaret Aston but focuses primarily on the English Parliament's actions against idolatry. Spraggon claims that the parliamentarians attacked certain aspects they found to be idolatrous and had either not yet been purged by the Elizabethan church or were brought into common use by Laudians. In particular a number of idols were destroyed during this period as well as altar rails, images of the Trinity, crucifixes, and the practice of bowing upon sight of the name of Jesus. Partly it was an eradication of Laudian practices which many Puritans found offensive to their religious prescriptions. Spraggon noted that Puritans attempted to keep moving forward with their cleansing, including attempts by Sir Robert Harley in London and Westminster and William Dowsing in East Anglia, but popular support for this had already waned by 1643.
R.C. Richardson, writing on H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, remarked: "Unsurprisingly, Spraggon's book draws on Dowsing's journal and the editors' work on it, but pushes out the investigation of the subject both geographically and chronologically. It comes from the same publisher, is very nicely produced, and is part of a series devoted to viewing religious history ‘in the round.’" Richardson continued, saying that "Spraggon sets out to survey the nature, extent, and impact of 1640s iconoclasm, making clear as she goes along that there was more of it than some historians have been prepared to recognize. There is a neat logic to the sequence of chapters." Paul S. Seaver, reviewing the book in Albion, commented that "Spraggon may tell the reader more than the reader wants to know about the iconoclastic detail of the 1640s and early 1650s, but she provides a careful and dispassionate account, as thorough as the evidence permits (and where the evidence is problematic, as at Oxford, where much information depends on the memories and biases of Anthony Wood and John Aubrey, she is frank about its questionable veracity) in what is obviously a very useful study."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albion, June 22, 2004, Paul S. Seaver, review of Puritan Iconoclasm during the English Civil War, p. 304.
American Historical Review, February 1, 2005, John Morrill, review of Puritan Iconoclasm during the English Civil War, p. 215.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (June 1, 2004), R.C. Richardson, review of Puritan Iconoclasm during the English Civil War.
Institute of Historical Research, University of London Web site,http://www.history.ac.uk/ (May 10, 2008), author profile.