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Cromwell and the interregnum: the essential readings

Cromwell and the interregnum: the essential readings

Smith, David L. (David Lawrence), 1963-

This reader brings together eight of the most influential recent articles on Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum. It focuses on the years from Charles I's execution in 1649 to Cromwell's own death in 1658

Paperback, Hardback, Book. English.
Published Oxford: Blackwell, 2003
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 942.06/SMI

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00229272 Main Collection 942.06/SMI Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: edited by David L. Smith
ISBN: 0631227245, 0631227253, 9780631227243, 9780631227250
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 352 p.
Series: Blackwell essential readings in history
Subject: Cromwell, Oliver.; Cromwell, Oliver; Great Britain History Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649-1660.; Protectorate; Source Material


  1. Acknowledgements.
  2. Editor's Introduction.
  3. 1. Oliver Cromwell, the Regicide and the Sons of Zeruiah (John Morrill, University of Cambridge and Philip Baker, Associate Editor, The New Dictionary of National Biography).
  4. 2. Oliver Cromwell and the Sin of Achan (Blair Worden, University of Sussex).
  5. 3. The Cromwellian Protectorate: A Military Dictatorship? (Austin Woolrych, University of Lancaster).
  6. 4. 'The Single Person's Confidants and Dependents'? Oliver Cromwell and his Protectoral Councilors (Peter Gaunt, University College, Chester).
  7. 5. Oliver Cromwell and the Localities: The Problem of Consent (Anthony Fletcher).
  8. 6. Cromwell’s Religion (Colin Davis, University of East Anglia).
  9. 7. Oliver Cromwell, the First Protectorate Parliament and Religious Reform (David L. Smith, University of Cambridge).
  10. 8. Cromwell, Scotland and Ireland (David Stevenson, University of St. Andrews).
  11. Timeline.
  12. Index.

Author note

David L. Smith is Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He has won the Royal Historical Society’s Alexander Prize and Cambridge University’s Thirlwall Prize for Historical Research. He is the author of eight previous books on various aspects of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century history including Oliver Cromwell (1991), A History of the Modern British Isles, 1603–1707 (Blackwell, 1998), and The Stuart Parliaments, 1603–-1689 (1999).


"Here are eight of the best essays of the past twenty years on Oliver Cromwell in power. The collection is enhanced by David Smith's lucid and comprehensive introduction summarizing the current historiography on politics and religion during the Interregnum."
--Ian Gentles, Glendon College, Toronto

"This collection of important articles on the 1650s will be a boon to everyone interested in discovering more about the history of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, as will the editor's introduction, which is a splendid guide to many important themes of the history of that period."
--Barry Coward, Birkbeck College, London

Back cover copy

This reader brings together eight of the most influential recent articles on Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum. It focuses on the years from Charles I’s execution in 1649 to Cromwell’s own death in 1658.

The articles explore key themes, such as Cromwell’s complex personality, beliefs and motives; the nature of his role and influence during the Interregnum; his relationships with Parliaments, the Army and the Council; and the impact of the Commonwealth and Protectorate on British politics and society. They represent the diversity of approaches and perspectives that historians have brought to these issues, but all of them explore why Cromwell never achieved enduring political stability. The book is British in scope, including treatments of Ireland and Scotland as well as England.

The volume opens with an editorial introduction to recent controversies in the field, and each essay is prefaced with a headnote setting it within its historiographical context.