This introduction to the volume provides in the first instance a brief overview of George Whitefield’s life and career, delineating its main features, and highlighting Whitefield’s key interests and achievements. The most substantial section examines Whitefield’s attempts to shape his public image during his lifetime, through successive editions of his autobiographical journal, and the careful selection of a sympathetic first biographer. The introduction goes on to explore the ways in which subsequent biographers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries approached the study of Whitefield, drawing out some of the common themes in their works. The concluding sections discuss the main themes in the current volume, and the origins of this book.
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