Ironed Corpses Clattering in the Wind

Mark Kishlansky

  • Restoration: Charles II and His Kingdoms by Tim Harris
    Penguin, 506 pp, £12.99, January 2006, ISBN 0 14 026465 5
  • Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy 1685-1720 by Tim Harris
    Allen Lane, 622 pp, £30.00, January 2006, ISBN 0 7139 9759 1

In the 1660s, repression gave way to liberation. Samuel Pepys took great pleasure from his debauching of the progeny of such well-known Puritans as ‘Penny’ Penington, whose grandfather Isaac had been the Presbyterian alderman and mayor of London. The Duke of Monmouth had an illegitimate child with Elizabeth Waller, the daughter of the Parliamentarian general, Sir William. The experiments of the 1650s were swept away as king, lords and bishops were thrust back into power with hardly a shot fired. The armies of the Commonwealth melted away, its tortured succession of governments abruptly ended and its chaotic Church dissipated. The people lined the streets to cheer their monarch, who arrived in London on his 30th birthday.

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