God's Fury, England's Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars

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The sequence of civil wars that ripped England apart in the seventeenth century was one of the most devastating conflicts in its history. It destroyed families and towns, ravaged the population and led many, both supporters of Charles I and his opponents, to believe that England’s people were being punished by a vengeful God. This masterly new history illuminates what it was like to live through a time of terrifying violence, religious fervour and radical politics. Michael Braddick describes how pamphleteers, armies, iconoclasts, witch-hunters, Levellers, protestors and petitioners were all mobilized in the chaos, as they fought over new ways to imagine their world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141008974
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/24/2009
  • Pages: 784
  • Sales rank: 1,190,831
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Braddick is Professor of History at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of The Nerves of State: Taxation and the Financing of the English State, 1558–1700 and State Formation in Early Modern England, c.1500–1700.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

The Crisis of the Three Kingdoms, 1637-1642

1 From the Bowels of the Whore of Babel: The Scottish Prayer Book Rebellion and the Politics of Reformation 3

2 Self-Government at the King's Command: Politics and Society in Caroline England 40

3 Drawing Swords in the King's Service: The English and the Bishops' Wars 81

4 We Dream Now of a Golden Age: The Long Parliament and the Public Sphere 113

5 Barbarous Catholics and Puritan Populists: The Irish Rising and the Politics of Fear 156

6 Paper Combats: The Battle for the Provinces 182

7 Raising Forces: The Slide into War 209

War, 1642-1646

8 Armed Negotiation: The Battle of Edgehill and Its Aftermath 241

9 Military Escalation, Loyalty and Honour: The English War Efforts in 1643 262

10 The War of Three Kingdoms: The Irish Cessation and the Solemn League and Covenant, 1643 304

11 Marston Moor: The Victory of the Covenant 323

12 A Man Not Famous but Notorious: Death and Its Meanings 356

13 Naseby and the End of the War: The Triumph of the New Model Army 370

14 Winners and Losers: The Costs and Benefits of Civil War 389

15 Remaking the Local Community: The Politics of Parishes at War 413

Revolution, 1646-1649

16 Post-War Politics: Print, Polemic and Mobilization 439

17 Military Defeat and Political Survival: Attempts at Settlement from Newcastle to Newmarket 465

18 The Army, the People and the Scots: Putney, the Engagement and the Vote of No Addresses 507

19 To Preserve That Which God Hath Manifestly Declared Against: Charles, the Scots, and the Second Civil War 529

20 The Occasioner, Author, and Continuerof the Said Unnatural, Cruel and Bloody Wars: The Trial and Execution of Charles I 551

21 Epilogue: England's Freedom 582

Acknowledgements 594

Picture Credits 596

Abbreviations 598

Note on Authorship and Dating of Pamphlets 600

Note on Dates and Quotations 602

Notes and References 603

Bibliograpy of Secondary Works 694

Index 724

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine history of Britain's revolution

    Michael Braddick, professor of history at Sheffield University, has written a splendid new history of the civil wars in Britain in the 1640s. The book is in three parts: the crisis of the three kingdoms (1637-42), war (1642-46), and revolution (1646-49).

    Part 1 describes the Scottish Prayer Book rebellion and the politics of reformation, politics and society in Charles' England, the English and the Bishops' Wars, the Long Parliament, the Irish rising, the struggle for the provinces and the slide into war. Part 2 studies the battle of Edgehill, the English war efforts in 1643, the Irish Cessation and the Solemn League and Covenant, the battle of Marston Moor, death and its meanings, the battle of Naseby and the New Model Army, the costs and benefits of civil war, and the politics of parishes at war. Part 3 describes postwar politics, attempts at settlement, the Putney debates, the Engagement and the vote of No Addresses, Charles' starting of the second civil war, his trial and execution, and England's freedom.

    The people opposed the king's party on the issues of royal powers, his religious policies, taxation, his foreign policy, and his Catholic advisers. Charles sought to uphold his supreme power over the people. He refused to work with Parliament or to be subject to its authority. People noted that Charles tried to stay out of war in Europe against Catholics, but was ready to go to war against his own Protestant subjects. Public opinion was such that, as Braddick writes, "Military mobilization by prerogative power in order to enforce Laudian ceremonialism would have plenty of opponents." Yet in 1649, the king was still unrepentant and uncompromising, and still bent on another war: defeated in England and Scotland, he was as yet unbeaten in Ireland.

    Braddick recounts the organised, disciplined and popular assertions of traditional common rights - throwing down enclosures in forests and fens, tearing up hedges, and breaking open the Earl of Middlesex's deer park and killing his deer. Tactically astute, people gathered in groups of two, thus evading the legal definition of a riot.

    More and more people became active citizens. People fought for the idea that "All power is originally and essentially in the whole body of the people of this Nation."

    As Braddick writes, "What was really new and radical . was that fundamental questions were being debated before a public audience." It was 'a decade of intense debate and spectacular intellectual creativity . the beginnings of a passage from the world of reformation to the world of enlightenment'.

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    Posted April 17, 2009

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