Henry Parker and the English Civil War: The Political Thought of the Public's 'Privado'

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Henry Parker and the English civil war is the first full study in fifty years of the author of the most celebrated political tract of the early years of the English civil war, Observations upon Some of His Majesties Late Answers and Expresses. Professor Mendle situates each of Parker's significant tracts in its polemical, intellectual, and political context. He also views Parker's literary work in the light of his career as privado, or intimate adviser, to leading figures of the parliamentary leadership. Parker emerges as a fierce opponent of clerical pretension from any quarter, a strikingly brutal critic of the common law mind, and a leading proponent of parliament's most uncompromising position, a claim to a species of executive power so encompassing (and so like the claims of Charles I) that it can fitly be called parliamentary absolutism.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a clever and perceptive book about an important, largely neglected and ultimately elusive Parliamentarian pamphleteer of the 1640s....an excellent book that places Henry Parker in a clearer light and that also illuminates the cultural assumptions of his contemporaries." Canadian Journal of History

"...Mendle's study is a welcome, incisive, and often challenging treatment of a significant figure." Albion

"...[Mendle's] book has an attractive air....Michael Mendle has written a succint and clear account of Parker's political thought....It should be read by all historians working in the field. Furthermore, its clarity and intriguing claims for Parker's absolutism should make it both accessible and stimulating to advanced undergraduates. It is perhaps the most important tribute to make to a work of scholarship, when it initiates debates that will continue for some time. This one has." Glenn Burgess, H-Net Reviews

"...easily supersedes earlier partial studies....Mendle has written a solid, thoughtful book on a neglected figure, who does indeed merit a full-length study." William Palmer, American Historical Review

"...the book is to be commended as an indispensible guide to the life and thought of the first great apologist for the doctrine of parliamentary absolutism." The American Journal of Legal History

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
1 The public's privado 1
2 The ship money case and The Case of Shipmony 32
3 Religio laici 51
4 Observations and the political theory of the emergency 70
5 The Observator observed 90
6 "Vaine Confidence in the Law": the Observator responds 111
7 Diverse urgent emergent considerations 137
8 Disputable and visible politics 160
Conclusion: contrary points of war 180
Appendix: The writings of Henry Parker 191
Index 197
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