Ian Gentles’ book (a welcome addition to the British History in Perspective Series edited by Jeremy Black) is the first new biography of Oliver Cromwell in many years. The book contains significant new research, and Professor Gentles presents us with a far more in-depth picture of the private and public life of Cromwell than have previous biographers.
Charles Carlton’s lively and readable book is an attempt to discern ‘how war … affected the history of early modern Britain’ (p. xx) between the battles of Bosworth (1485) and Culloden (1746).
This is a fascinating and absorbing account of Royalist conspiracy and spies throughout the Civil Wars and the Commonwealth and Protectorate. It highlights the increasing importance of underground Royalist activity as the Stuart monarchs failed to regain their kingdoms.
The question of the nature of allegiance in the English Civil Wars has been a perennial issue for at least three generations of professional academics.
Building on his work on the Huntly family in the north-east of Scotland, Barry Robertson’s latest monograph chooses to shift the usual historiographical focus from the Covenanters and the Irish Confederates to an attempt to understand royalism in Scotland and Ireland.(1) Seen in the same light as recent work by Andy Hopper and Matthew Neufeld, Robertson’s book seeks to
Martial law does not have a good reputation. William Blackstone set the tone of modern attitudes in the 18th century. Martial law is ‘built upon no settled principles ... entirely arbitrary in its decisions ... no law, but something indulged, rather than allowed as a law’ (quoted at p. 251).
Padraig Lenihan, The Last Cavalier: Richard Talbot (1631-91), Dublin, UCD Press, 2014, 268 pages, €40, ISBN 9781906359836.
Jonathan Scott, Professor of History at the University of Auckland, in his recent book, How the Old World Ended (2019), has provided an intellectual bridge between the early modern period and the modern world, which was born out of the Industrial Revolution.