At the time of the Restoration, the opening of a locked chest in a remote hovel in Westmorland by a young woman reveals the unexpected life story of her recently-deceased father, a man she has barely known thanks to his self-imposed silence…

‘A Certain Measure of Perfection’ is constructed around genuine historical characters, including the minister himself, Roger Brierley – a man forgotten by history but one whose abilities went far beyond his rather unexceptional education. Working from an obscure Northern backwater and aided only by candle and condenser, miles from the centres of ecclesiastical power and learning, he completed one of the most extraordinary translations of the century, bringing the dreaded ‘Teutonic theology’ to life in the English language and sending a ‘movement of the Spirit’ not only across the hills of the North but subsequently also through the tightly cramped, jettied-building streets of the City of London.

Over the five volumes of the book, Matthew Brearley, our narrator, takes us on a journey from a Northern English rural backwater through Brierley’s arrest and Matthew’s own time in Grindleton with the curate’s wife, via a repository of Familist texts on the Fens to a London irreversibly sliding towards the chaos of outright civil war.



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61 thoughts on “About the book

  1. Thank you for liking my blog An Englishmen Goes To Transylvania!. Oddly my sister lives in Sawley, just two miles from Grindleton! She and I have spent many a happy evening in the Lower Buck there – I will point her to your blog/book as she is keen on history…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Looks like a very interesting study and book. I’m a musician, and it is interesting to see the influence of theological ideas on what was perfect and imperfect in musical intervals used in sacred music. We take for granted the names, perfect unison, octaves and 5ths but it refers to a time when these implied godliness and other intervals were the devil’s work. And thinking about other philosophical wanderings I have made, I wonder how the word ‘perfection’ could be compared with the word ‘unity’. Looking forward to reading your book.

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  3. Dear Simon, this should be great searching and writing. And what you did is also great, I admire so much. Your writing skill is amazing, fascinated me, especially your comment 🙂 I really love your country and this language. But I am not perfect 🙂 This was my dream to be same with this language as my own. I am talking about this, because, as your people in your language, maybe it won’t be easy for me to read, but piece by piece I try to read and to understand. The first passage fascinating and makes you to read… I love history, archeology. But this is what I haven’t known anything before, it should be interesting. Sorry if I make a lot of explanations. I have just seen your other blog, now I am going to visit it, I can see there are photographs 🙂 you know this is my best part. Thank you, Good Luck for your books. Love, nia

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  4. And I have just realised why you did not comment on that page itself – because there is no comments box! I am on a bus but it should work now :-). There is actually also the very interesting case of John Traske as well…

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  5. This sounds really interesting, I love history and learning about different areas, and the stories in their past so I’m intrigued! Made sure I followed your blog for further updates! And thank you too for all the kind comments so far on my blog as well 🙂 – Tasha

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  6. Fist Simon thanks for the follow and then for the lead in to this fascinating history; some of the names and the very basic story resonates but wow from a brief read here there’s some tale told there. Best of luck wth both blog and book.

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  7. Can hardly believe that anyone has time to blog and write, but hats off to you for doing both! Thanks for following our blog, Oh, the Places We See. Hopefully, you’ll have a little time left to read about our travels. Best wishes for much success in all your endeavors!

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    1. It was actually something that Brierley himself said towards the end of his life, looking back on his more radically minded period. Even now, he says, I still think that perhaps Luther and one or two others arrived at a certain measure of perfection. Later I realised that from the perspective of assurance it can also be played the other way as a measure of certain perfection.

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  8. Many thanks for stopping by on my website. Hope you make it down to the exhibition on the work of Nicholas Hilliard & Isaac Oliver now on at the NPG. There is also a conference at the NPG on 28/29 March on all aspects of the work of the portrait miniaturist. Unfortunately my submission to give a paper identifying one of Hilliard’s sitters didn’t make it to the final cut because that is not what they were after.


  9. Thanks for your comment on my post about The Weirdstone of Brisingamen … it won’t let me answer it because I messed up the Facebook link so I deleted it and reposted it, so it won’t let me answer comments on the original! Yes – the author took a lot of the names in this from Norse mythology. Ragnarok’s mentioned as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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