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Mary Mollineux's Fruits of retirement (1702): Poetry in the second period of quakerism

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/12/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Quaker Studies
Issue number2
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)135-155
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Fruits of Retirement, a volume of poetry by the Lancashire Quaker Mary Mollineux, was published posthumously in 1702 by her husband and other Friends; it was well received and republished five times in the eighteenth century. Yet the early Quakers, like most Protestants of the time, rejected creative endeavour as impinging on the prerogative of the Almighty to create. This article considers why Mollineux's poetry might have been so well received, notwithstanding Quaker strictures against the creative arts. It begins by reviewing the case against the arts, and argues for the importance of understanding the style, form and acceptance of Mollineux's poetry in the light of the second period of Quakerism in which it was written and received.