For a comment on a paper that I’m giving this afternoon, I needed to check a quotation from The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649 (1996), edited by Richard Dunn, James Savage, and Laetitia Yeandle, the most recent and authoritative edition of Winthrop’s journals. I should have done this at home, as I own this 799 page doorstop of a book, but luckily I found that the relevant passage was available via Google books. Yay! Mission accomplished. Thanks, internets!
But wait: there are two online reviews of Winthrop’s journal, which I thought was pretty interesting as he’s been dead since 1649. “Imi” wrote, “Thank God we only have to read a small part of it for a lecture, because even those couple of pages were really boring. I don’t think I’ll ever read the whole thing, it’s not interesting at all. The bit with the serpent and the mouse was good, though, with the interpretation, but that was it for me.” (The serpent and the mouse–was that a parable about the Antinomian controversy, or an allusion to the political ambitions of Sir Henry Vane? I’ll have to look that up.) “Amy” left an even pithier review: “Governor Winthrop is an a**hole.”
And they gave him just two stars out of five! Methinks that “Imi” and “Amy” might really be sock puppets for John Wheelwright. (These reviews were of the abridged edition, not the full version–maybe that was the problem.)