Current Editions of the "Guide to True Peace"

Dear Friends:

"A Guide to True Peace" has been in continuous publication since it was first published in England in 1813.  There have been many editions.  Each edition makes editorial changes; almost all of these are very minor.  I thought I would take a moment to cover the currently available editions of the "Guide" and discuss their commonalities and differences.  Currently I am aware of five versions of the Guide that are easily available.


A Guide to True Peace

Nabu Public Domain Reprints

ISBN: 9781178700794

$17.75 (If you have an Amazon Prime account it is $12.36)

A Guide to True Peace

ULAN Press

No ISBN (If you go Amazon, use the key words: Guide True Peace Ulan)


Review: Both of these are reprints of the 1846 American Edition; also known as the Third American Edition.  The Nabu is better priced and is the one I prefer.  The two reprint houses have used exactly the same text; it comes from the same library and has the same library stamp in the photocopy.  So either way you have a good copy.  In both cases the photocopying is clean and the printing has actually been enlarged which makes reading easy.  The 1846 edition added "Counsel to the Christian Traveller" after the Guide.  It is a short devotional work by William Shewen and is a nice added bonus.

Modern Editions:

A Guide to True Peace

Rare Christian Books



Review: This is a staple bound edition.  Per the Introduction, it is a reprint of the 1839 Edition published in Philadelphia.  I enjoyed this edition, but there are a number of annoying typos.  And although it is stated that this is based on the 1839 Edition, I believe the main source is the 1946/79 Edition because they have an edited form of the Introduction by Howard Brinton.  Oddly, though, they do not give attribution to Brinton.  In addition, some of the phrasing is consistent with the 1946/79 editions.

A Guide to True Peace

Kingsley Press

ISBN: 9781937428044


Review: This is the American printing of the Searchlight edition that was published in England in 1999.  The Kingsley Press edition is copyrighted 2011.  It is 'updated and modernised' though based, I believe, on the 1815 British Edition.  The editing is extensive.  Changes include changes in sentence structure, paragraphing, specific word choice, and Biblical reference source.  Still, all of the teachings are there and if a modern style is appealing to you then this might be a good choice.

A Guide to True Peace Revisited

Edited by Roland Trujillo

ISBN: 9781477627655


Review:  This is another, modernised, version.  However, the editing here is much lighter than in the Kingsley Press edition.  If up-to-date language is important for you then I would choose this edition.  The most significant changes appear in paragraphing: the long paragraphs of the original have been broken down into much shorter paragraphs.  For example, the opening paragraph of Chapter 1 is now four separate paragraphs; this makes the second paragraph of the original the fifth paragraph of this version.  I don't find this to be intrusive.  There are also some changes in sentence structure and word choice; but much less so than in the Kingsley Press edition.

Closing Comments:  My first choice would be the Nabu Press reprint.  I think it is the most authentic one available and has that added bonus of the William Shewen 'Counsel'.  It will also connect you with the actual 'Guide' that Quakers used in the past.  The problem with the newer 'modernised' versions is that they cut the reader off from what Quakers were reading and contemplating and using for most of 200 years.  This means that if you are reading a Quaker work that refers to the 'Guide', and you are reading the Nabu reprint, you will know what they are referring to.  In contrast, if you are using one of the modernized versions, what you have read, and what they are referring to will differ.  

On the other hand, if modern usage is important to you, I would recommend Roland Trujillo's version of the Guide.

Best wishes,

Thy Friend Jim

P.S.  None of the online versions at this time are trustworthy.

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