Thomas Fuller Criticism - Essay

Lawrence C. Wroth (essay date January-October 1912)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Wroth, Lawrence C. “Thomas Fuller and His ‘Worthies.’” The South Atlantic Quarterly 11 (January-October 1912): 215-23.

[In the following essay, Wroth contends that Fuller's works remain interesting to early twentieth-century readers because they are full of gossip about his contemporaries.]

Human experience has never given hearty approval to the theory that conversation should be of things and not of people, for it has found that the practice of gossiping is a decidedly pleasant way of spending the hours of recreation, and that it is an unimproved agent for mental sanitation. He is generally a churl who rejoices not in the recital of personalities, in...

(The entire section is 3744 words.)

Houghton, Walter E., Jr. (essay date 1938)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Houghton, Walter E., Jr. “Problem and Method.” In The Formation of Thomas Fuller's ‘Holy and Profane States,’ pp. 3-16. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1938.

[In the following excerpt, Houghton discusses the critical reception of Fuller's writing from the seventeenth through the mid-twentieth century, maintaining that his work, particularly The Holy and Profane States, has been misunderstood by critics.]


Among English men of letters, Thomas Fuller has perhaps a unique distinction: no author so widely known seems to have received such meager and inadequate interpretation. By a curious irony, the failure of...

(The entire section is 4809 words.)

James O. Wood (essay date May 1954)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Wood, James O. “Thomas Fuller's Oxford Interlude.” The Huntington Library Quarterly 17, no. 3 (May 1954): 185-208.

[In the following essay, Wood explores Fuller's possible activities during his Oxford stay in the last months of 1643, activities that apparently included the composition of a verse drama satirizing the political climate of the time.]


In the summer of 1643 Thomas Fuller was, at thirty-five, a popular preacher at St. Mary Savoy, London, and the well-known author of The Historie of the Holy Warre (Cambridge, 1639) and The Holy State and the Profane State (Cambridge, 1642). Like many another in that crucial...

(The entire section is 8549 words.)

Robert B. Resnick (essay date 1964)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Resnick, Robert B. “Thomas Fuller: Doctor of the Sugar-Coated Pill.” Lock Haven Review (series 2) 6, no. 1 (1964): 53-68.

[In the following essay, Resnick explains Fuller's method of combining wit and didacticism in his writings.]

Doctor Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), who wrote and preached in a milieu of ingenious English writers, was one of the most palatable preceptors of his day. He is thought of primarily as a character writer; yet his genres included biographies, essays, meditations, sermons, histories, protests, prefaces, and poetry. Whatever the nature of his topic, Fuller's imagination brought new and unexpected treatment to almost every theme....

(The entire section is 5759 words.)

Florence Sandler (essay date August 1978)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Sandler, Florence. “Thomas Fuller's Pisgah-Sight of Palestine as a Comment on the Politics of Its Time.” The Huntington Library Quarterly 41, no. 4 (August 1978): 317-43.

[In the following essay, Sandler examines Fuller's work within the context of issues of church and state during his lifetime.]

The Pisgah-Sight of Palestine1 is not much read these days because of the decline of Thomas Fuller's literary reputation from the heights on which it stood in Coleridge's day. But Miltonists have cause to notice from time to time the genial, large-minded, learned, witty, and prolific Thomas Fuller, divine and man of letters, who was...

(The entire section is 11939 words.)