Oliver Cromwell / Edition 1

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Overview

The English Civil War, fought between 1642 and 1646, occurred during one of the most turbulent, but also most important, periods in British history. Years of dispute over the political powers of the monarchy - between the reigning King Charles I and Parliament - culminated in a war, which ultimately led to the execution of the King and the establishment of a Parliament independent of the monarchy. Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) emerged in the mid-seventeenth century as the leader of the parliamentarian cause, a dazzlingly successful soldier and forceful politician who molded the course of revolution, reconstruction, and reform. He rose to be head of the army and, from 1653, head of state of a united Britain as Lord Protector. A statesman of considerable ability, he ran a strong and stable regime which began the process of rebuilding the state and healing the divisions of the civil war. But he was also a religious visionary, a man who believed that the Lord had chosen him for a special mission and had handed him the military successes and political power to enable him to fulfil this divine task. To the end, Cromwell was driven forward and radicalized by the pursuit of godly reformation. This illustrated biography provides a concise and accessible introduction to Oliver Cromwell's life and career. The text draws upon extensive and up-to-date research as well as contemporary speeches and letters, both personal and political, giving an insight into the hopes and fears, goals and aspirations of the man behind one of the most critical periods of British history.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two brief biographies of Oliver Cromwell and Sir Francis Drake continue the winning new series published by NYU Press in conjunction with the British Library. Written by specialists, these bright, concise biographies are nevertheless accessible to general readers and young people, making them enormously valuable. Gaunt, the author of numerous books on Cromwell and the British Civil War, is an engaging writer who takes the reader through Cromwell's life, campaigns, and Protectorate. Readers learn the basics about Cromwell and more. Not just a Puritan but a God-driven man, Cromwell might well be compared to George W. Bush. There are few extant records about Cromwell, and historians hotly debate many of the earlier works written about him. This "Cromwell Lite" demythologizes much of that literature and sets the record straight. Similarly, cartographic historian Whitfield indicates that the 19th- and 20th-century romanticizing of Sir Francis Drake is well off the mark. Drake's reported family history appears bogus; he was a privateer, willing to destroy friends for the sake of his ambitions, certainly flamboyant, and ultimately a flawed man. Again, though compact, this is an exciting and wholly convincing interpretation of an important British figure. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Gail Benjafield, St. Catharines P.L., Ont. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This biography is an excellent way to introduce readers to this dynamic personality who came to dominate the British Isles in the 17th century, rising from fairly humble beginnings to do so. His influence ran from military to political to religious. Gaunt appreciates the man for the kinds of reasons that will resonate with modern readers, especially Cromwell's liberal attitude toward religious belief and observance, at least within Protestantism. The concentration on this aspect of his greatness does rather miss the point that his importance comes from his role in his own time and his effect on posterity, but this is still a well-designed introduction to a fascinating and important figure. The book has mainly color illustrations and a map that readers unfamiliar with English geography will find useful.-Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
”Gaunt introduces Oliver Cromwell by recounting the strong opinions still held about him, especially in Ireland, which Cromwell ruthlessly subjugated.”

-Booklist

”This biography is an excellent way to introduce readers to this dynamic personality who came to dominate the British Isles in the 17th century, rising from fairly humble beginnings to do so.”

-School Library Journal

”Gaunt is an engaging writer who takes the reader through Cromwell's life, campaigns, and Protectorate. Readers learn the basics about Cromwell and more. There are few extant records about Cromwell, and historians hotly debate many of the earlier works written about him. This ‘Cromwell Lite’ demythologizes much of that literature and sets the record straight.”

-Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631204800
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Series: Historical Association Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,557,237
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Gaunt is reader in History at University College Chester, an affiliated college of the University of Liverpool. Among his previous books are A Nation under Siege: The Civil War in Wales; The British Wars, 1637–1651; and The English Civil War. He has been chairman of The Cromwell Association since 1990.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

List of Maps.

Part I: Introduction:.

1. The Man and the Myth.

Pert II: The Life and Career:.

2. Early Life, 1599-1642.

3. The First Civil War, 1642-46.

4. Politics and the Army, 1646-49.

5. Enemies and Divisions, 1649-53.

6. Head of State , 1653-58.

Part III: Conclusions:.

7. The Faces of Cromwell.

Select Bibliography.

Notes.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    England without a king

    'The king is dead...long live the Lord Protector!'. Words to be heard in the 1650's English Revolution. The only man to be not of royal blood to lead England is detailed here by Gaunt. It is an absorbing walk through a fascinating period in history by an author clearly in love with his subject. The reader will find bewildrering where a man like Cromwell came from to wind up as the only non-royal leader in England since the collapse of the Roman Empire. Cromwell's story remains as perplexing and mysterious as Hitler's rise to power in the twentieth century.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2005

    Peter Gaunt hits the mark

    The Oliver Cromwell in Peter Gaunt's book is fascinating and riveting all at once. This book made for an easy read. One is kept interested in the seemingly ordinary origin of the only non blue blood to rule England since the collapse of the Roman Empire. It could have led to a good thing: too bad his son was an idiot.

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