• Book jacket of The Shakers: History, Culture and Craft by Lesley Herzberg

The Shakers: History, Culture, and Craft by Lesley Herzberg

December 10, 2015 - Jenny Rust

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Lesley Herzberg is the curator of the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts, and in this slim volume she shares her knowledge and enthusiasm with the general reader.

Herzberg traces the history of the Shakers from their origins in Manchester in the 1770s through to their establishment in America, where they grew to approximately five thousand members in the mid nineteenth century.  She later charts their decline throughout the twentieth century, when their communal, agrarian way of life was overtaken by the industrial and the individual.

There are detailed descriptions of Shaker meetings, and the theology that underpinned their faith.  These are neatly counterpointed by chapters which show their talent as entrepreneurs, making and selling to the outside “World” to support their communities.

The book is illustrated copiously with clear photographs of the architecture, furniture, and craft which has come to symbolize their faith. It includes a detailed bibliography, and a useful list of places to visit, including the American Museum in Bath.

Book jacket of The Shakers: History, Culture and Craft by Lesley Herzberg


The Shakers: History, Culture and Craft by Lesley Herzberg

Reviewed by Jenny Rust

Title: The Shakers: History, Culture, and Craft
Author: Lesley Herzberg
Published by: Shire Books
Price: £7.95
ISBN: 978-0-74781-462-7