Charles I and the People of England

Charles I and the People of England

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The story of the reign of Charles I - through the lives of his people.

Prize-winning historian David Cressy mines the widest range of archival and printed sources, including ballads, sermons, speeches, letters, diaries, petitions, proclamations, and the proceedings of secular and ecclesiastical courts, to explore the aspirations and expectations not only of the king and his followers, but also the unruly energies of many of his subjects, showing how royal authority was constituted, in peace and in war - and how it began to fall apart.

A blend of micro-historical analysis and constitutional theory, parish politics and ecclesiology, military, cultural, and social history, Charles I and the People of England is the first major attempt to connect the political, constitutional, and religious history of this crucial period in English history with the experience and aspirations of the rest of the population. From the king and his ministers to the everyday dealings and opinions of parishioners, petitioners, and taxpayers,
David Cressy re-creates the broadest possible panorama of early Stuart England, as it slipped from complacency to revolution.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 162 x 241 x 40mm | 822g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 12 black and white halftones
  • 0198708297
  • 9780198708292
  • 719,780

Table of contents

Preface ; Prologue: Lucy Martin's Message ; Introduction ; 1. The Commonwealth of England ; 2. The Oath of a King ; 3. Sacred Kingship and Dutiful Subjection ; 4. Unprosperous Wars ; 5. An Accessible Monarch? ; 6. Importunate Petitioners ; 7. The King's Religion and the People's Church ; 8. The King's Declaration and the People's Sports ; 9. Sacred Kingship Eclipsed ; 10. The Blindness of Charles I ; Bibliography ; Notes ; Index
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Review Text

An invaluable case study in the evolution of historical scholarship, popular memory, and national mythology. Renaissance Quarterly
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Review quote

an outstanding contribution ... Highly recommended. * R. Fritze, CHOICE * combines archival range and fluid writing * H-Net * A brilliantly evocative account of the life and times of Charles I, as seen primarily from the perspective of the millions of ordinary English men and women who lived under his rule. Drawing on an impressive array of archival and printed sources, Cressy is able to recreate the concerns and reactions of those usually hidden from history to provide a fresh perspective on the shortcomings of the Caroline regime and the origins of the English revolution. * Tim Harris, author of Rebellion: Britain's First Stuart Kings * the work is splendidly written, spiced with some telling aphorisms, which adds to its compelling readability * Clive Holmes, English Historical Review * David Cressy's lively new study ... leaves aside the elite narrative of this troubled reign and focuses instead on the beliefs, expectations, actions, and reactions of the vast majority of the King's subjects. * R. C. Richardson, Times Higher Education * This is a rich account, brimming with details culled from a huge range of original sources * Telegraph, Noel Malcolm * Cressy has done sterling work showing how popular discontent magnified the restiveness of the gentry like a vast echochamber. His is the best book on the Civil War that I've read for a while. * BBC History Magazine * wonderful * Open Letters Monthly * the sort of book written on the basis of a lifetime's exploration of the sources... t is never less than fascinating * Church Times * Cressy's eye for vivid detail ... remains undimmed ... readable and highly engaging * Journal of British Studies * lively new study * TES * Cressy writes evocatively, giving fluent snapshots of individual reactions to particular issues or events... illuminating aspects of what it was like for people of various sorts to live in these turbulent times. * Times Literary Supplement, Michael Braddick * Cressy is the author of several delightful books on the social history of Tudor and Stuart England that draw on curious material buried in the archives * Tony Barber, Books of the Year 2015: Best Books 2015 History, Financial Times * An invaluable case study in the evolution of historical scholarship, popular memory, and national mythology. * Renaissance Quarterly *
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About David Cressy

David Cressy was born in England and educated at Cambridge, but built his career in the United States. He has taught at colleges and universities in California, Ohio, and New Mexico, and has won numerous fellowships and awards. His work is driven by curiosity about the relationships of central and local authority, elite and popular culture, official and unofficial religion, and ordinary men and women, a curiosity that ranges from kinship to book-burning, from
cross-dressing to Gypsies. When not engaged in historical research he may be found exploring the deserts and beaches of the American West.
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Rating details

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