George Marsden, author of the brilliant biography Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale, 2003) is back with a new biography—A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards (Eerdmans, 2008). The books is now available and costs about $11.00. In the preface of the new title, Marsden explains the origin and purpose of this new biography.
“In 2003 I published Jonathan Edwards: A Life with Yale University Press on the occasion of the three-hundredth anniversary of Edwards’s birth. Prior to being asked to write that major biography, I had already told my friends at Eerdmans that some day I would write a life of Edwards for them. So with the cooperation of both publishers, I agreed that after I wrote the more definitive biography for Yale, I would write something shorter for Eerdmans. The happy outcome is that, having already published a much longer, closely documented work, this book could be kept brief without any scholarly apparatus. With the exception of a few items noted in the acknowledgments, documentation for whatever is said here can be found in the larger work. Nevertheless, I need to emphasize that this book is not an abridgement of Jonathan Edwards: A Life. Rather it is a fresh retelling in which I have tried to include just what is most essential and most engaging. A few things, especially the recurrent theme of Edwards and Franklin, are new. My hope is that the result will appeal not only to the general reader but also to church study groups and to students in college courses in American history or American religious history. In the retelling, I have tried to keep the interests of each of these audiences in mind.”