What have maypoles, charivari processions, and stoolball matches to do with the English Civil War? A great deal, argues David Underdown. Using three western counties as a case-study, he shows that the war was neither a dispute confined to the elite nor a class struggle of the 'middling sort' against a discredited aristocracy. It was in fact the result of profound disagreements among people of all social levels about the moral basis of their communities; commoners as well as ruler held strong opinions about order and governance. But these opinions varied from place to place, and through a pioneering synthesis of social history and popular culture, Underdown relates political diversity to cultural diversity, and shows that local difference in popular allegiance in the Civil War coincided with regional contrast in the traditional festive culture. The book is thus an important reinterpretation of both the English Revolution and the relationship between society, politics, andculture in the seventeenth century.
The town is Dorchester in Dorset; the time the beginning of the seventeenth century. Two hundred years before Hardy disguised it as Casterbridge, Dorchester was a typical English country town, of middling size and unremarkable achievements. But on 6 August 1613 much of it was destroyed in a great conflagration, which its inhabitants regarded as a 'fire from heaven', and which was the catalyst for the events described in this book. Over the next twenty years, a time of increasing political and religious turmoil all over Europe, Dorchester became the most religiously radical town in the kingdom, deeply involved, emotionally, with the fortunes of the Protestants in the Thirty Years War, and horrified by the Stuart flirtation with Spain. It was, after all, barely a generation since the defeat of the Great Armada. David Underdown traces the way in which the tolerant, paternalist Elizabethan town oligarchy was quickly replaced by a group of men who had a vision of a godly community in which power was to be exercised according to religious commitment rather than wealth or rank. They succeeded, briefly, in making Dorchester a place that could boast systems of education and of assisting the sick and needy nearly three hundred years in advance of their time. The town achieved the highest rate of charitable giving in the country. It had ties of blood as well as faith with many of those who sailed to establish similarly godly communities in New England. But the author's gaze is never focused narrowly on the local: he skillfully sets the story of Dorchester in the context both of national events and of what was going on overseas. This parallel vision of the crisis that led to the English Civil Warand of the incidence of the war itself opens fresh perspectives. The book's most remarkable achievement, however, is the re-creation, with an intimacy unique for an English community so distant from our own, of the lives of those who do not usually make it into the history books: Matthew Chubb, the hub of the old order, and his friend Roger Pouncey, 'godfather to the unruly and unregenerate of the town', on the one hand, the great pastor John White and the diarist William Whiteway on the other. They stride, fully rounded characters, from one end of the book to the other. Even further down the social scale we glimpse the daily lives of the ordinary men and women of the town drinking and swearing, fornicating and repenting, triumphing over their neighbors or languishing in prison, striving to live up to the new ideals of their community or rejecting them with bitter anger and mocking laughter. Above all, in its subtle exploration of human motives and aspirations, it shows again and again how nothing in history is simple, nothing is black and white. And it shows us, by the brilliant detail of its reconstruction, how much of the past we can recover when in the hands of a master historian.
Gender, Culture and Politics in England, 1560-1640 integrates social history, politics and literary culture as part of a ground-breaking study that provides revealing insights into early modern English society. Susan D. Amussen and David E. Underdown examine political scandals and familiar characters-including scolds, cuckolds and witches-to show how their behaviour turned the ordered world around them upside down in very specific, gendered ways. Using case studies from theatre, civic ritual and witchcraft, the book demonstrates how ideas of gendered inversion, failed patriarchs, and disorderly women permeate the mental world of early modern England. Amussen and Underdown show both how these ideas were central to understanding society and politics as well as the ways in which both women and men were disciplined formally and informally for inverting the gender order. In doing so, they give a glimpse of how we can connect different dimensions of early modern society. This is a vital study for anyone interested in understanding the connections between social practice, culture, and politics in 16th- and 17th-century England.
Written by one of the world's most distinguished historians of early modern history, A Freeborn People is a provocative exploration of the ways in which the political cultures of the elite and of the common people intersected during the seventeenth century. David Underdown shows that the two worlds were not as separate as historians have often thought them to be; English men and women of all social levels had similar expectations about good government and about the traditional liberties available to them under the "Ancient Constitution". Throughout the century, both levels of politics were also powerfully influenced by prevailing assumptions about gender roles, and, especially in the years before the civil wars, by fears that the country was threatened by evil forces of satanic inversion. This dramatic reinterpretation of the Stuart period, based on the author's acclaimed 1992 Ford Lectures, begins a new chapter in the continuing debate over the historical meaning of Britain's seventeenth-century revolutions.
By one of the most profoundly influential thinkers of our century, The Rebel is a classic essay on revolution. For Albert Camus, the urge to revolt is one of the "essential dimensions" of human nature, manifested in man's timeless Promethean struggle against the conditions of his existence, as well as the popular uprisings against established orders throughout history. And yet, with an eye toward the French Revolution and its regicides and deicides, he shows how inevitably the course of revolution leads to tyranny. As old regimes throughout the world collapse, The Rebel resonates as an ardent, eloquent, and supremely rational voice of conscience for our tumultuous times. Translated from the French by Anthony Bower.
This book provides a fresh reassessment of English politics and political culture during the Commonwealth—the brief period of parliamentary republican rule (with no monarch, royal court, or House of Lords) between the execution of Charles I in 1649, and Cromwell’s seizure of power in 1653. It focuses particularly on the problem of how to legitimate governmental authority in the absence of a monarchy and in the absence of all the symbolic and ceremonial forms through which authority had traditionally been expressed and exercised. Finally, the author argues that the Commonwealth regime was not in fact the corrupt administrative failure that it was alleged to have been by its enemies and later by many historians; instead the republican experiment was brought down by a faction no less intent on enjoying the spoils of the Stuart regime, anxious about the Commonwealth’s successes rather than alarmed by its failures. The English revolution demolished almost all political landmarks, and this book describes in vivid detail how the new republican state successfully restored the dignity of civilian government by expressing its authority through a calculated range of imagery and symbolism. Individual chapters focus on the occupation and revival of the abandoned royal palace of Whitehall by members of the new regime; the public spectacle mounted to celebrate its military victories; the ritual and ceremony with which it dignified everyday politics; and the invention of a new state iconography to replace familiar forms such as the crown and the royal seal. These efforts of the Republic to graft its own symbols and rhetoric onto the familiar political culture of the monarchical Stuart state secured an increasingly broad degree of support and, indeed, enthusiasm from its citizens. However, the steady growth of the regime’s stability and prestige was seen by the army as a threat to its power, and in 1653 they acted, lest the Republic continue to harden into an unassailable form.
This is the definitive history of the English Civil War, set in its full historical context from the accession of Charles I to the Restoration of Charles II. These were the most turbulent years of British history and their reverberations have been felt down the centuries. Throughout the middle decades of the seventeenth century England, Scotland, and Ireland were convulsed by political upheaval and wracked by rebellion and civil war. The Stuart monarchy was in abeyance for twenty years in all three kingdoms, and Charles I famously met his death on the scaffold. Austin Woolrych breathes life back into the story of these years, the sweep of his prose buttressed by the authority of a lifetime's scholarship. He captures the drama and the passion, the momentum of events and the force of contingency. He brilliantly interweaves the history of the three kingdoms and their peoples, gripping the reader with the fast-paced yet always balanced story.
This sweeping and groundbreaking work presents the shocking and violent history of ethnic cleansing against Chinese Americans from the Gold Rush era to the turn of the century.
"Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls 2" is the sequel to the sensational New York Times bestseller, and the most crowdfunded book of all times. The authors, Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli, will take you and your kids on an empowering journey through 100 new bedtime stories, featuring the adventures of extraordinary women from Nefertiti to Beyoncé. The unique narrative style of "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" transforms each biography into a fairy-tale, filling the readers with wonder and with a burning curiosity to know more about each hero. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 boasts a brand new graphic design, a glossary and 100 incredible new portraits created by the best female artists of our time. "This amazing book shows girls they can be anything they want." - Melinda Gates "Essential reading for girls and indeed boys; children who read this at bedtime are guaranteed some big and inspirational dreams." - Fiona Noble, The Guardian "The anti-princess book teaching girls to rebel." - Georgina Rannard, BBC News
The Early Stuarts 1603-1660
Tudor Rebellions, now in its sixth edition, gives a chronological account of the major rebellions against the Tudor monarchy from the reign of King Henry VII until the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. It also throws light on some of the main themes of Tudor history, including the dynasty’s attempt to bring the north and west under the control of the capital, the progress of the English Reformation and the impact of inflation, taxation and enclosure on society. This new edition has been thoroughly revised to take into account the exciting and innovative work on the subject in recent years and bring the historiographical debates right up to date. It now includes additional documents and extended discussions to bring to life the complex events and politics of the rebellions. The primary sources, alongside a narrative history, allow students to fully explore these turbulent times, seeking to understand what drove Tudor people to rebel and what sort of people were inclined to do so. In doing so, the book considers both ‘high’ and ‘low’ politics, and the concerns of both the noble and the unprivileged in Tudor society. With supplementary materials including a chronology, who’s who and guide to further reading along with maps and images, Tudor Rebellions is an invaluable resource for all students of Tudor history.
Contributes to an understanding of the internal political and religious structure of the City of London during the period of the English Revolution. This monograph reconstructs the social structure and composition of each of the City parishes, surveys the successes and failures of Presbyterianism among the parishes, explores the new relationship between the Puritan ministers and the parishes, as well as discusses the Independents and the Anglicans in this time and setting.
This collection is concerned with the articulation, mediation and reception of authority; the preoccupations and aspirations of both governors and governed in early modern England. It explores the nature of authority and the cultural and social experiences of all social groups, especially insubordinates. These essays probe in depth the ways in which young people responded to adults, women to men, workers to masters, and the 'common sort' to their 'betters'. Early modern people were not passive receptacles of principles of authority as communicated in, for example, sermons, statutes and legal process. They actively contributed to the process of government, thereby exposing its strengths, weaknesses and ambiguities. In discussing these issues the contributors provide fresh points of entry to a period of significant cultural and socio-economic change.
In the middle of the night, five teens break into a small town high school that has been closed by the regional school board. They are there to protest the decision to move them to a big city school and make their little town that much smaller. Led by Bilan, whose experience with the Arab Spring fired a passion to peacefully fight against injustice, the Gang of Five occupy their old school. The local police chief and the town quietly cheer them on. When the school board calls in a big security firm to break up their occupation using any means necessary, including force, the five have to decide how far they will go to show their outrage at having no control over decisions that affect their lives. This is a novel which picks up on themes drawn from the world around us, and shows how these can play out in the lives of contemporary young people.
Elizabeth I is perhaps the most visible woman in early modern Europe, yet little attention has been paid to what she said about the difficulties of constructing her power in a patriarchal society. This revisionist study examines her struggle for authority through the representation of her female body. Based on a variety of extant historical and literary materials, Frye's interpretation focuses on three representational crises spaced fifteen years apart: the London coronation of 1559, the Kenilworth entertainments of 1575, and the publication of The Faerie Queene in 1590. In ways which varied with social class and historical circumstance, the London merchants, the members of the Protestant faction, courtly artists, and artful courtiers all sought to stabilize their own gendered identities by constructing the queen within the "natural" definitions of the feminine as passive and weak. Elizabeth fought back, acting as a discursive agent by crossing, and thus disrupting, these definitions. She and those closely identified with her interests evolved a number of strategies through which to express her political control in terms of the ownership of her body, including her elaborate iconography and a mythic biography upon which most accounts of Elizabeth's life have been based. The more authoritative her image became, the more vigorously it was contested in a process which this study examines and consciously perpetuates. Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation offers an exciting new feminist take on political power as wielded through the printed word. Important reading for students and scholars, as well as for the general reader interested in Renaissance literature and history, SusanFrye's study weaves together historical, literary, and sociopolitical factors into a fascinating feminist historicist reading of the reign of Elizabeth I.
In his new text, Derek Hirst, one of the foremost living historians of seventeenth-century England, has created a wholesale revision of his classic Authority and Conflict and draws on a decade of new research that has appeared since the original book to produce a wholly fresh work. Centered around ambiguities of community in early modern England, the text enlivens debates over revisionism, Puritanism, the church, and witchcraft while at the same time making sense of the complexities of crisis and continuity.

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