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Response to Review of The Civil Wars after 1660: Public Remembering in Late Stuart England

I wish to thank Professor Bowen for his fair and insightful review. I take his points about my book’s overarching perspective and explanatory frameworks, although I would like to clarify that the statement he quotes from page 25 actually begins with ‘this reading public would learn the lessons …’. My point here was not meant to be conclusive but rather to invoke an audience that sanctioned historical writing from the 1660s aspired to produce. It was not my intention to demonstrate the existence or emergence of such a public over time. This was because I was not interested, at least in this book, in exploring the reception of public remembering in the way Bowen wishes I had. Nonetheless, part of the reason for the book’s inclusion of non-official examples of remembering, such as the chapter on maimed soldiers’ testimonies, was to begin to show some of the ways non-state actors spoke along or against the lines laid down by the sanctioned public story of the civil wars and Interregnum. Otherwise, the reviewer’s critiques are reasonable if not unexpected.