The Long Parliament of Charles II

Overview

Charles II’s first and most important parliament sat for eighteen years without a general election, earning itself the sobriquet “Long.” In 1661 this parliament began in eager compliance with the new king. Gradually disillusioned by Charles’s maneuvers, however, its members came to demand more control of the economy, religion, and foreign policy, starting a struggle that led to the Exclusion crisis. This lively book is the first full study of this Restoration Parliament.

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Overview

Charles II’s first and most important parliament sat for eighteen years without a general election, earning itself the sobriquet “Long.” In 1661 this parliament began in eager compliance with the new king. Gradually disillusioned by Charles’s maneuvers, however, its members came to demand more control of the economy, religion, and foreign policy, starting a struggle that led to the Exclusion crisis. This lively book is the first full study of this Restoration Parliament.

Using parliamentary diaries, newsletters, memoirs, letters from members of parliament, scofflaw pamphlets, and the king’s own speeches, Annabel Patterson describes this second Long Parliament in an innovative and challenging way, stressing that how its records were kept and circulated is an important part of the story. Because the parliamentary debates of this age were jealously guarded from public knowledge, unofficial sources of information flourished. Often these are more candid or colorful than official records. Eighteenth-century historians, especially if Whiggish, recycled many of them for posterity. The book, therefore, not only recovers a crucial period of parliamentary history, one that helps to explain the Glorious Revolution, it also opens a discussion about historiographical method.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300137088
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/7/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,174,546
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Annabel Patterson is Sterling Professor of English Emeritus at Yale University. She lives in New Haven, CT.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Recorders: Sir John Coventry's Nose 13

Ch. 2 Chronology: Why Did the Long Parliament Last So Long? 38

Ch. 3 Top Down: The King's Speeches 63

Ch. 4 Up Close and Personal: The Memoirists 92

Ch. 5 Under Cover: Scofflaw Pamphlets 119

Ch. 6 Parliament and the Control of Religion 1661-1674 145

Ch. 7 The Sessions of 1675: The Commons Fight Back 163

Ch. 8 Foreign Policy: The Sessions of 1677-1678 178

Ch. 9 The Eighteenth Session: Plots and Dissolution 209

Ch. 10 How We Got Parliamentary History 233

Notes 261

Index 274

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