I write to clarify some misperceptions about my book, Birth, Death and Religious Faith in an English Dissenting Community: A Microhistory of Nailsworth and Hinterland, 1695–1837 (Lanham, 2016), which appeared in Kathryn Lynch’s review in The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, XLVII (2017), 414–415.
The first misperception is that the study’s aim is to compare or contrast Baptist and Anglican fertility over the “long eighteenth century.” The central goal is actually to gauge the impact of religious enthusiasm on fertility, as registered via the evangelical revival, and only secondarily to compare/contrast Nonconformist and Anglican fertility in this context. The “event-history analysis” in Chapter 2 established that for Baptists, the probability of an additional birth occurring, following religious conversion, increased significantly, particularly among wives.
The path analyses in the chapters about Baptist and Anglican fertility refined and affirmed this finding. Path analysis is a form of regression, in...