The World, the Flesh and the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765 – 1838

Andrew Sharp

Author: Andrew Sharp
Format: Hardback, Ebook
Pages: 968
Published: October 2016
Specs: 24.0cm x 17.0cm
ISBN: 9781869408121

Available in Ebook

A major new biography of the leading evangelist to New Zealand, the ‘flogging parson’ Rev. Samuel Marsden, and the struggles with ‘the world, the flesh and the devil’ that he spent his life pursuing.

New Zealanders know Samuel Marsden as the founder of the CMS missions that brought Christianity (and perhaps sheep) to New Zealand. Australians know him as ‘the flogging parson’ who established large landholdings and was dismissed from his position as magistrate for exceeding his jurisdiction. English readers know of Marsden for his key role in the history of missions and empire. In this major biography spanning research, and the subject’s life, across England, New South Wales and New Zealand, Andrew Sharp tells the story of Marsden’s life from the inside. Sharp focuses on revealing to modern readers the powerful evangelical lens through which Marsden understood the world. By diving deeply into key moments – the voyage out, the disputes with Macquarie, the founding of missions – Sharp gets us to reimagine the world as Marsden saw it: always under threat from the Prince of Darkness, in need of ‘a bold reprover of vice’, a world written in the words of the King James Bible. Andrew Sharp takes us back into the nineteenth-century world, and an evangelical mind, to reveal the past as truly a foreign country.


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Andrew’s book is strongly referenced and illustrated throughout with images of the locations and people described... A thought-provoking read. – Emma Rutherford, NZ Booksellers

[This] new book on the life and times of missionary Samuel Marsden isn’t just a standard biography but an impressive work of scholarship. – Samuel Carpenter, Listener NZ