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21 January 1982
The Outbreak of the English Civil War 
by Anthony Fletcher.
Arnold, 446 pp., £24, October 1981, 0 7131 6320 8
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The Royalist War Effort 
by Ronald Hutton.
Longman, £12, October 1981, 0 582 50301 9
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... reforming reaction after 1660, negative; and these are not, on the whole, the themes which have drawn scholars to the period. If the English Civil War is important, it is because it is interesting. AnthonyFletcher begins with the meeting of the Long Parliament in November 1640 and ends with the outbreak of war in the summer of 1642. It is the events of those two years that the grand hypotheses of the ...

What news?

Patrick Collinson: The Pilgrimage of Grace

1 November 2001
The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s 
by R.W. Hoyle.
Oxford, 487 pp., £30, May 2001, 9780198208747
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... but rebellion. The Pilgrimage of Grace, as the convulsions came to be known, was the largest and most menacing of a succession of ‘Tudor Rebellions’, to quote the title of a seasoned classic by AnthonyFletcher (1968), recently revised by Diarmaid MacCulloch and reissued (1997). But in the perception of the actors this was not rebellion at all, and when they found themselves described as rebels in ...

Losers

Conrad Russell

4 October 1984
The Experience of Defeat: Milton and Some Contemporaries 
by Christopher Hill.
Faber, 342 pp., £12.50, July 1984, 0 571 13237 5
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... of them was willing to take the step taken by Milton and Walwyn, and ask whether the ideal itself was obsolete, or even wrong. It was this shared attachment to ideas no longer workable to which AnthonyFletcher was referring when he spoke of the ‘intellectual poverty’ of the period before 1640. The debates of the Long Parliament before the war, and even the first twelve months of the Thomason ...
29 August 1991
The Causes of the English Civil War 
by Conrad Russell.
Oxford, 236 pp., £35, November 1990, 0 19 822142 8
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The Fall of the British Monarchies 1637-1642 
by Conrad Russell.
Oxford, 580 pp., £40, April 1991, 9780198227540
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... government at the centre.’ In 1642 both Charles I and his leading Parliamentary opponent, John Pym, found it hard to persuade the country to mobilise for war. Yet, as the studies of Derek Hirst and AnthonyFletcher and others have demonstrated, it is artificial to divorce opinion in Parliament from opinion at large. Russell’s inability to recreate the public mood of the pre-war years narrows the ...
21 April 1983
The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559-1625 
by Patrick Collinson.
Oxford, 297 pp., £17.50, January 1983, 0 19 822685 3
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Reactions to the English Civil War 1642-1649 
by John Morrill.
Macmillan, 257 pp., £14, November 1982, 0 333 27565 9
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The World of the Muggletonians 
by Christopher Hill, Barry Reay and William Lamont.
Temple Smith, 195 pp., £12.50, February 1983, 0 85117 226 1
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The Life of John Milton 
by A.N. Wilson.
Oxford, 278 pp., £9.95, January 1983, 0 19 211776 9
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Complete Prose Works of John Milton. Vol. 8: 1666-1682 
edited by Maurice Kelley.
Yale, 625 pp., £55, January 1983, 0 300 02561 0
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The Poet’s Time: Politics and Religion in the Works of Andrew Marvell 
by Warren Chernaik.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 9780521247733
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... of this kind, the volume has a clear theme: the complexity and the misery of the Civil War. Historians have long insisted on the regional variations in the patterns of the conflict, but by the time AnthonyFletcher has guided us round the counties of England, and Roger Howell round the towns, we must wonder whether any generalisations about local allegiances can ever be made again. Donald Pennington ...

Maypoles

Conrad Russell

5 September 1985
The Restoration: A Political and Religious History of England and Wales 1658-1667 
by Ronald Hutton.
Oxford, 379 pp., £17.50, June 1985, 0 19 822698 5
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... been designed to revise the accepted picture of central politics in the light of local findings. He found that ‘there existed no picture of central politics to be treated in this manner.’ Like AnthonyFletcher, writing on The Outbreak of the English Civil War, he has been forced to tell the story ab initio. In the process, he has highlighted, even more than workers on the period before the Civil ...

Out of the East

Blair Worden

11 October 1990
The King’s Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Wolsey 
by Peter Gwyn.
Barrie and Jenkins, 666 pp., £20, May 1990, 0 7126 2190 3
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Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution 
by John Morrill.
Longman, 300 pp., £17.95, May 1990, 0 582 06064 8
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The Writings of William Walwyn 
edited by Jack McMichael and Barbara Taft.
Georgia, 584 pp., $45, July 1989, 0 8203 1017 4
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... Austin Woolrych’s lucid essay on Cromwell the soldier, how gradual was his rise to prominence. He never had command of an army in battle during the first civil war. In later essays Derek Hirst and AnthonyFletcher, examining the failure of Cromwell’s hopes for godly reformation during the Protectorate, observe the gap between the vigorous language that expressed his aspirations and the frailty of ...

Doomed to Sincerity

Germaine Greer: Rochester as New Man

16 September 1999
The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 
edited by Harold Love.
Oxford, 712 pp., £95, April 1999, 0 19 818367 4
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... important manuscripts, and seems not to have recognised Lady Rochester’s hand in the British Library manuscript that he chose as his copy-text for ‘Lucina’s Rape’, Rochester’s adaptation of Fletcher’s Valentinian, which she has carefully corrected, restoring the sense of the original, and in which she has (in the spirit of the selection of Rochester’s works for 1691) strenuously elided the ...

Phut-Phut

James Wood: The ‘TLS’

27 June 2002
Critical Times: The History of the ‘Times Literary Supplement’ 
by Derwent May.
HarperCollins, 606 pp., £25, November 2001, 0 00 711449 4
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... at Oxford, ‘was said to have got the job largely on the strength of his Lit Supp contributions’. In that first year of the TLS’s existence, The Wings of the Dove was reviewed by Constance Fletcher, who wondered how James’s novel would do ‘for short railway journeys and drowsy hammocks’, and Youth (which contained Heart of Darkness), reviewed by William Beach Thomas, who had robustly ...

Diary

Jenny Turner: ‘T2 Trainspotting’

16 February 2017
... would say. I’d wanted to attend that hearing because I come from Aberdeen and know well the dunes and flora Trump was wrecking there. I like wind power, and loved You’ve Been Trumped (2011), Anthony Baxter’s documentary about the local people who had been campaigning against the development, and who looked, at that time, like they might win. I also wanted to see what Trump actually looked like ...

Whatever you do, buy

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare’s First Folio

15 November 2001
The Shakespeare First Folio: The History of the Book Vol. I: An Account of the First Folio Based on Its Sales and Prices, 1623-2000 
by Anthony​ James West.
Oxford, 215 pp., £70, April 2001, 0 19 818769 6
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... recognised was obsolete two and a half centuries ago. It is the increasingly fancy sums which this awkwardly assembled and unevenly printed volume has commanded which preoccupy the first volume of Anthony James West’s The Shakespeare First Folio: The History of the Book, and they provide a very remarkable instance of the interplay between literature and the market, prompting all sorts of reflections ...
13 September 2018
Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness 
by Rhodri Lewis.
Princeton, 365 pp., £30, November 2017, 978 0 691 16684 1
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... business is demonstrated by a range of imitations and borrowings made by other dramatists, among them John Marston, Thomas Middleton (most spectacularly in The Revenger’s Tragedy, 1606) and John Fletcher. In his Jew’s Tragedy, written in the 1620s, William Heminges even includes the line ‘To be, or not to be, I, there’s the doubt.’ Perhaps he thought that as the son of one of the compilers of ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2012

3 January 2013
... neighbour on the school register) Albert Benson passed it with me but was too poor to go on to what we then called secondary school.As it was put together, the programme tended to confirm Anthony Powell’s thesis that documentaries aren’t based on the evidence but are simply scenarios dreamed up by the director with the facts arranged accordingly.I’ve never been particularly concerned ...
26 October 1989
... Padua. ‘Yes, he’s been found,’ she says triumphantly, ‘and I know who found him.’ Thinking it unlikely she has an acquaintance in the Italian version of the SAS, I ask whom she means. ‘St Anthony of course. The patron saint of lost things. St Anthony of Padua.’ ‘Well,’ I want to say, ‘he didn’t have far to look.’ May 1982 As I am leaving for Yorkshire Miss S.’s hand comes out ...

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