Christopher Durston has produced here the sort of history which my generation of school students was brought up to regard as the norm, taking a celebrated episode of political and constitutional history and setting out to re-evaluate it by reading a broader and deeper collection of sources for it than ever before, in both local and national archives.
The publication of Jonathan Clark's English Society in 1985 marked the appearance of a new and original revisionist historiography of the long eighteenth century.
On Sunday 1 or Sunday 8 April 1649 – it is difficult, as the editors note, to establish the date with certainty (vol. 1, p. 28) – five people went to St. George’s Hill in the parish of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey and began digging the earth. They sowed the unfertile ground with parsnips, carrots and beans, returning the next day in increased numbers.
This is a monumental book, covering 91 noble families and 311 individual noblemen in 17 chapters of 482 pages of text and 89 pages of endnotes. The supporting material includes 19 plates, ten maps, 31 tables, ten figures and six appendices.
In 1966 the historical profession was deprived of a talented and original practitioner, when Dr Walter Love was killed in a traffic accident. Utah-born Love was drawn towards Irish history following his postgraduate research into Edmund Burke, and ultimately his interest centred on how the events of 1641 had become engrained into collective memory in Ireland.
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.
As Anna Bayman notes in her excellent new monograph, ‘[a] book about Thomas Dekker could [...] be a book about almost anything’ (p. 3). Tackling this prolific and somewhat elusive writer brings with it a host of difficulties. Dekker’s writings are generically and formally diverse, embedded within the political and moral concerns of early modern London.
In his latest book, Dr Peter Elmer grapples with two of the thorniest, and most enduring, questions in the study of witchcraft and witch-hunting: How might we account for fluctuations in the number of witch-craft prosecutions? And what explains the eventual demise of witchcraft prosecutions (in England, at least) by the end of the 17th century?
The subject of oath swearing has long been recognised in the historiography for its importance in interpreting loyalty in early modern England, especially in times of heightened religious and political tensions.
Pauline Gregg’s Freeborn John was previously the most recent full biographical work on John Lilburne. Published in 1961, Gregg’s work was extremely close to H. N. Brailsford’s seminal The Levellers and the English Revolution; the two works standing for decades as the cornerstones to Leveller historiography.