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Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

Davis, J. C

The deep-rooted controversies that surround Oliver Cromwell make an examination of his reputation particularly fruitful. This text addresses central issues of the English Revolution through the prism of Cromwell's reputation

Paperback, Hardback, Book. English.
Published London: Arnold, 2001
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – Two available in Main Collection 942.064/DAV

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00296765 Main Collection 942.064/DAV Standard Available
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Details

Statement of responsibility: J.C. Davis
ISBN: 0340731176, 0340731184, 9780340731178, 9780340731185
Physical Description: 224p. ; 22 cm.
Series: Reputations
Subject: Puritan Revolution; Cromwell, Oliver; Protectorate; Heads of state Great Britain Biography.; Great Britain History Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649-1660.; Cromwell, Oliver.

Contents

  1. Enigma or hero?
  2. Why Cromwell's reputation matters: the record
  3. The cat's-paw of history: Cromwell's reputation through time
  4. The self-made man risen from obscurity
  5. Swordsman
  6. Man of God
  7. The politician
  8. Statebuilder?
  9. Conclusion: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution
  10. Cromwell chronology 1599-1658.

Description

Oliver Cromwell's greatness has rarely been disputed. He is acknowledged as a colussus, a Promethean figure of English and Irish history. But the nature of that greatness has been subjected to a wide variety of interpretations, often passionately held and running to extremes, depicting him as a figure of great wickedness or great virtue. To make sense of his place in history we have to understand the evolution of his reputation and the purposes served by its various forms. Davis argues that, despite the extremes of interpretation, Cromwell's reputation has never been indefinitely elastic; that there have always been acknowledged facts which had to be faced up to. The evidence, and in some cases the lack of evidence, have to be appreciated contextually. So, Cromwell's rise from 'obscurity', his astonishing success as a soldier, his religion, his eventual dominance as a politician, his success and failure as a statesman are here re-examined in the dual light of his reputation and the context of his times. The result is a fresh and provocative assessment of his life and achievement, his role in the English Revolution and his place in British history.

Oliver Cromwell's greatness has rarely been disputed. He is acknowledged as a colossus, a Promethean figure of English and British history. But the nature of that greatness has been subjected to a wide variety of interpretations, often passionately held and running to extremes, depicting him as a figure of great wickedness or great virtue. To make sense of his place in history we have to understand the evolution of his reputation and the purposes served by its various forms. This book argues that, despite the extremes of interpretation, Cromwell's reputation has never been infinitely elastic; that there have always been acknowledged facts which had to be faced up to. The evidence, and in some cases the lack of evidence, have to be appreciated contextually. So, Cromwell's rise from `obscurity', his astonishing success as a soldier, his religion, his eventual dominance as a politician, his success and failure as a statesman are here re-examined in the dual light of his reputation and the context of his times. The result is a fresh and provocative assessment of his life and achievements, his role in the English Revolution and his place in British history.

Reviews

Colin Davis brings an unrelenting intelligence to his interrogation of the treacherous sources for the life of Oliver Cromwell, and he demands answers to radical questions. The result is a study that is wonderfully fresh, bold and challenging. It makes for gripping reading.||Overall, this book is excellent and is a very enjoyable read. Concise and clear, it is a good starting point for those who do not know much about Oliver Cromwell. However, for those with more knowledge it offers new and often valuable insigts into the man and includes all the latest historical research. I can thoroughly recommend this book.||Although other historians have already provided recent and easily accessible studies of Cromwell...Davis's is distinctively different and will undoubtedly find new readers.||This is throughout a subtle and interesting study, which crisply advances a range of familiar and not-so-familiar interpretations, most of them well-argued and convincing.||Throughout, Davis's grip is firm, enhancing his own reputation as a historian along with Cromwell's historical one.