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Friendship and its Discourses in the Seventeenth Century$
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Cedric C. Brown

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790792.001.0001

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John Evelyn and Jeremy Taylor

John Evelyn and Jeremy Taylor

(p.23) 2 John Evelyn and Jeremy Taylor
Friendship and its Discourses in the Seventeenth Century

Cedric C. Brown

Oxford University Press

After explaining Evelyn’s interest in spiritual partnerships, the chapter details the broad documentary base for the two friendships chosen, the spiritual mentorship of Jeremy Taylor and the long friendship with Elizabeth Carey/Mordaunt, the subject of the next chapter. The Taylor friendship is traced from its inception to the challenges of spiritual advice and the growth of mutual services, including attempts to raise an income for Taylor during the Commonwealth years. The correspondence shows more and more shared activities in support of the disabled episcopalian church. This friendship blossomed at the same time that Taylor wrote his Discourse of Friendship for Katherine Philips. This popular little book put practical emphasis on ‘doing good’ and prescribed eirenically for a war-torn society. Evelyn adopted many of the recommendations of his friend, and in turn, in gratitude, Taylor declared in 1657 that his friend had in life exceeded the prescriptions of his little book.

Keywords:   John Evelyn, Jeremy Taylor, spiritual advice, mutual services, Discourse of Friendship, doing good, war-torn society

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