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Jill Lepore: The KJV in the USA

The King's Bible in a Country Without a King


Jill Lepore

"I want to tell you a story about what happened when an American named Noah Webster—whose nickname happened to be "the monarch," because he was quite an imperious man—undertooketh his own revision." So begins noted American history scholar and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore. Her lively lecture touches on an American, who gave us one of our most beloved dictionaries, and his quest to give us a language uniquely our own—or owneth, as Webster would have preferred.


Jill Lepore | The KJV in the USA


From the September 29, 2011 keynote lecture for the Folger Institute's conference, An Anglo-American History of the KJV, in conjunction with the Folger exhibition, Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible.

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her books include The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History (Princeton, 2010), a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan (Knopf, 2005), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity (Knopf, 1998), winner of the Bancroft Prize; and Blindspot (Spiegel and Grau, 2008), a novel written jointly with Jane Kamensky, also a Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her next book, The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death, will be published in May of 2012.


Lepore has served as a consultant for the National Park Service and currently serves on the boards of the National Portrait Gallery, the Society of American Historians, and the National Council for History Education. Her research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pew Foundation, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the Charles Warren Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.


Jill Lepore | The KJV in the USA

Read the transcript


Historic American Bibles

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