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Martial Power and Elizabethan Political Culture: Military Men in England and Ireland, 1558-1594

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Overview

This book studies the careers and political thinking of English martial men, left deeply frustrated as Elizabeth I's quietist foreign policy destroyed the ambitions that the wars of the mid-sixteenth century had excited in them. Until the mid 1580s, unemployment, official disparagement and downward mobility became grim facts of life for many military captains. Rory Rapple examines the experiences and attitudes of this generation of officers and points to a previously overlooked literature of complaint that offered a stinging critique of the monarch and the administration of Sir William Cecil. He also argues that the captains' actions in Ireland, their treatment of its inhabitants and their conceptualisation of both relied on assumptions, attitudes and political thinking which resulted more from their frustration with the status quo in England than any tendency to 'other' the Irish. This book will be required reading for scholars of early modern British and Irish history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is fluently written and persuasive and Rapple's research is impressively deep." -Steven Gunn, H-Albion

"...scholars and students of Anglo-Irish relations and court studies, as well as military historians, will find this important study illuminating and thought provoking." -David R. Lawrence, Renaissance Quarterly

"Like the captains whom it studies, this is an ambitious...book." -Paul E. J. Hammer, Journal of British Studies

"...a nuanced, multivalent study which requires patience to read (and re-read), but is certainly worth the effort." -David J. Appleby, Canadian Journal of History

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rory Rapple is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Chimneys in summer; 2. Military men and their discontents; 3. The limits of allegiance: English military men, Europe and the Elizabethan regime; 4. The captains and the Irish context; 5. The limits of imperium: military men and government; 6. The limits of rhetoric: the captains and violence in Elizabethan Ireland to 1588; 7. Unlimited indemnity: delegates versus viceroys; Conclusion.

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