Historian and woodworker.
Robert Tarule is a historian and woodworker. He published his first book, The Artisan of Ipswich: Craftsmanship and Community in Colonial New England, in 2004 through Johns Hopkins University Press. The book centers on the life and body of works of English-born craftsman Thomas Dennis, who immigrated to the American colonies in 1663, eventually settling in Ipswich, Massachusetts. There he started a furniture business, where he made most of the furniture himself. Tarule pays particular attention to a chest Dennis created, considered to be, like the most of his other work, among the best craftsmanship in this period of American history. Tarule also discusses other joiners and craftsmen of the period and the cultural and social dimensions of those working in this field.
Martha I. Pallante, reviewing The Artisan of Ipswich in the Historian, commented that the most significant aspect "of Tarule's work is the insight it provides into a group frequently overlooked in the historical record." Pallante, an instructor at Youngstown State University, concluded that "Tarule's work is significant not just for what it reveals about woodworking and joining in seventeenth-century New England, but because he provides a cultural and intellectual history for those who worked with their hands as well as their minds."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Historian, September 22, 2006, Martha I. Pallante, review of The Artisan of Ipswich: Craftsmanship and Community in Colonial New England, p. 648.
Journal of Popular Culture, June 1, 2006, Colin Rowan, review of The Artisan of Ipswich, p. 514.
New England Quarterly, December 1, 2005, Marie Morgan, review of The Artisan of Ipswich, p. 662.
Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2005, review of The Artisan of Ipswich, p. 295; November 1, 2007, review of The Artisan of Ipswich.
Reviewer's Bookwatch, October 1, 2004, Henry Berry, review of The Artisan of Ipswich.
Technology and Culture, April 1, 2006, Marla R. Miller, review of The Artisan of Ipswich, p. 417.