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Erratic Star

Michael Foot, 11 May 1995

Moral Desperado: A Life of Thomas Carlyle 
by Simon Heffer.
Orion, 420 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 297 81564 4
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... its triumphs could be carried forward by a whole range of later historians, by Veronica Wedgwood, Christopher Hill and the rest. Carlyle hated democracy, both the word and the idea, which is no doubt one source of his appeal at Peterhouse. But Cromwell’s army was much more truly representative of the English people than was Parliament, and Carlyle it ...

Past v. Present

Phil Withington: Blair Worden’s Civil War, 10 May 2012

God’s Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell 
by Blair Worden.
Oxford, 421 pp., £35, March 2012, 978 0 19 957049 2
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... World War, and were closely linked to the politics of their respective authors: R.H. Tawney and Christopher Hill on the political left, Lawrence Stone in the Whig centre, and Hugh Trevor-Roper on the right. They were comfortable corroborating their own political predilection with sophisticated historical exposition and, it seems, happy for their ...
Thomas Hodgkin: Letters from Africa, 1947-56 
edited by Elizabeth Hodgkin and Michael Wolfers.
Haan, 224 pp., £18.95, October 2000, 9781874209881
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... At Thomas Hodgkin’s memorial service, in 1982, Christopher Hill, formerly Master of Balliol, used the pulpit of the college chapel to give an address entirely free of religious reference, quite a feat in view of Hodgkin’s Quaker roots and Hill’s status as historian of the Puritan revolution ...

Coy Mistress Uncovered

David Norbrook, 19 May 1988

Dragons Teeth: Literature in the English Revolution 
by Michael Wilding.
Oxford, 288 pp., £25, September 1987, 0 19 812881 9
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Apocalyptic Marvell: The Second Coming in 17th-Century Poetry 
by Margarita Stocker.
Harvester, 381 pp., £32.50, February 1986, 0 7108 0934 4
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The Politics of Mirth: Jonson, Herrick, Milton, Marvell, and the Defence of Old Holiday Pastimes 
by Leah Marcus.
Chicago, 319 pp., £23.25, March 1987, 0 226 50451 4
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Milton: A Study in Ideology and Form 
by Christopher Kendrick.
Methuen, 240 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 416 01251 5
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... social and economic changes. Wilding’s main affiliation is with the humanist Marxism of Christopher Hill, and like Hill’s his approach to texts is often a very direct one, via extra-textual reality: it is characteristic of him to speculate that the mantling vines under which Comus claims to have found the ...

Being there

Ian Hamilton, 7 October 1993

Up at Oxford 
by Ved Mehta.
Murray, 432 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 0 7195 5287 7
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... schools and Mehta tells us why – which seems a bit much in a book published by John Murray. Christopher Hill – he of the little-finger handshake – is asked to explain the attractions of Marxism in the light of the Hungarian Revolution. Lord Oxmanton’s mother is asked to explain the rules and rituals of pheasant-shoots. Useful stuff if you ...

English Marxists in dispute

Roy Porter, 17 July 1980

Arguments within English Marxism 
by Perry Anderson.
New Left Books, 218 pp., £3.95, May 1980, 0 86091 727 4
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Capitalism, State Formation and Marxist Theory 
edited by Philip Corrigan.
Quartet, 232 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 7043 2241 2
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Writing by Candlelight 
by E.P. Thompson.
Merlin, 286 pp., £2.70, May 1980, 0 85036 257 1
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... regard Marxist historiography as a menace. Professor J.H. Hexter’s recent ad hominem assault on Christopher Hill’s scholarly integrity seems to reveal the same crusading zeal on the other side of the Atlantic. Furthermore, in a cunning jest of History, some Marxist philosophers have latterly enlisted in the armies of the Right in denying Lebensraum ...

Counter-Factuals

Linda Colley, 1 November 1984

The Origins of Anglo-American Radicalism 
edited by Margaret Jacob and James Jacob.
Allen and Unwin, 333 pp., £18.50, February 1984, 0 04 909015 1
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Insurrection: The British Experience 1795-1803 
by Roger Wells.
Alan Sutton, 312 pp., £16, May 1983, 9780862990190
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Radicalism and Freethought in 19th-Century Britain 
by Joel Wiener.
Greenwood, 285 pp., $29.95, March 1983, 0 313 23532 5
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For King, Constitution and Country: The English Loyalists and the French Revolution 
by Robert Dozier.
Kentucky, 213 pp., £20.90, February 1984, 9780813114903
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... 1688 and 1776 and admits some oppositional Tories and some capitalists to a share in virtu. Christopher Hill supplies an engaging and suggestive piece on radical pirates after the Restoration; Wilson Hays offers an interesting study of John Everard; and there is some predictably tough and valuable political analysis from David Underdown and ...

Sagest of Usurpers

Ian Gilmour: Cromwell since Cromwell, 21 March 2002

Roundhead Reputations: The English Civil Wars and the Passions of Posterity 
by Blair Worden.
Allen Lane, 387 pp., £20, November 2001, 9780713996036
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... Protector he had behaved like a monarch. Hence his reputation suffered with both sides because, as Christopher Hill put it, he had been both Robespierre and Napoleon. With Cromwell thus effectively hors de combat, the Roundheads’ successors concentrated on rehabilitating or redesigning Edmund Ludlow. A republican, a regicide and a Puritan, Ludlow had ...

Lawful Resistance

Blair Worden, 24 November 1988

Algernon Sidney and the English Republic 1623-1677 
by Jonathan Scott.
Cambridge, 258 pp., £27.50, August 1988, 0 521 35290 8
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Seeds of Liberty: 1688 and the Shaping of Modern Britain 
by John Miller.
Souvenir, 128 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 285 62839 9
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Reluctant Revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of 1688 
by W.A. Speck.
Oxford, 267 pp., £17.50, July 1988, 9780198227687
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War and Economy in the Age of William III and Marlborough 
by D.W. Jones.
Blackwell, 351 pp., £35, September 1988, 0 631 16069 8
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Robert Harley: Speaker, Secretary of State and Premier Minister 
by Brian Hill.
Yale, 259 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 300 04284 1
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A Kingdom without a King: The Journal of the Provisional Government in the Revolution of 1688 
by Robert Beddard.
Phaidon, 192 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780714825007
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... the Whig G.M. Trevelyan, who in 1939 published The English Revolution 1688-9, and the Marxist Christopher Hill, who responded the following year with The English Revolution 1640. To the Victorians, 1688 became a less uncomfortable subject once the hardship of the 1840s had passed. Macaulay, indeed, gave the Revolution a fresh justification and a ...
Revolutionary France, 1770-1880 
by François Furet, translated by Antonia Nevill.
Blackwell, 630 pp., £40, December 1992, 0 631 17029 4
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... in its ambition, if not in its content, Furet’s achievement resembles more the work of Christopher Hill on the English Revolution than that of Hill’s neo-positivist critics, who see only isolated events where Hill saw inner meaning and long-term trends. Furet’s ...

Tea with Medea

Simon Skinner: Richard Cobb, 19 July 2012

My Dear Hugh: Letters from Richard Cobb to Hugh Trevor-Roper and Others 
Frances Lincoln, 240 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 7112 3240 2Show More
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... The crude conviction that theory was antithetical to research is captured in his remark that Christopher Hill – master of Balliol in Cobb’s time – was ‘not really MY sort of historian. He has IDEAS and he does not really like ARCHIVES.’ The hermeneutical bent of much Continental and American historical writing left him cold. ‘Soon,’ he ...

Like What Our Peasants Still Are

Landeg White: Afrocentrism, 13 May 1999

Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes 
by Stephen Howe.
Verso, 337 pp., £22, June 1998, 1 85984 873 7
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... retrieval, and the English Nonconformist radicals of the 17th and 18th centuries described by Christopher Hill and E.P. Thompson. He pauses, for example, over the Black Panther leader David Hilliard’s painful account of his attempts to understand Frantz Fanon (‘I’m lost. I have the dictionary in one hand, the book in the other, and I can’t ...

Plays for Puritans

Anne Barton, 18 December 1980

Puritanism and Theatre 
by Margot Heinemann.
Cambridge, 300 pp., £12.50, March 1980, 0 521 22602 3
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John Webster: Citizen and Dramatist 
by M.C. Bradbrook.
Weidenfeld, 205 pp., £10, October 1980, 0 297 77813 7
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... her argument, she distorts or simplifies individual plays. Miss Heinemann’s debt to the work of Christopher Hill is everywhere apparent in her book – and fully acknowledged. Readers who found Dr Hill’s recent book, Milton and the English Revolution, stimulating but not entirely convincing are likely to harbour ...

Diary

R.W. Johnson: Alan Taylor, Oxford Don, 8 May 1986

... to fall within the same tradition as Darwin. Probably none of our other leading historians – Christopher Hill, E.P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, Keith Thomas – will gain such dubious recognition either. Alan’s style of narrative history has drawn criticism in recent years from young historians seeking a more ‘fundamental’ history in ...

The Case for Geoffrey Hill

Tom Paulin, 4 April 1985

Geoffrey HillEssays on his Work 
edited by Peter Robinson.
Open University, 259 pp., £18, March 1985, 0 335 10588 2
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... Geoffrey Hill’s second collection of poems, King Log, was published in 1968, that year of student radicalism and disappointment. Hill’s title is reactionary in its implications and derives from Aesop’s fable of the frogs who desired a king. In my edition of L’Estrange’s royalist version of Aesop the fable runs like this: The Frogs, living an easy, free life everywhere among the lakes and ponds, assembled together, one day, in a very tumultuous manner, and petitioned Jupiter to let them have a King ...

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