Oliver Cromwell / Edition 1

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An assessment of the man and myth, exploring the legends which surround Cromwell and the differing interpretations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Clearly written, well organized and suffused with human interest, this new study will prove deservedly popular in sixth forms and university courses." History

"This book is as disciplined, vivid and vigorous as the man it celebrates. Gaunt offers a convincing interpretation of Cromwell's life and a shrewd assessment of his achievement." John Morrill, Vice Master and Reader in Early Modern History, Selwyn College, Cambridge

"A carefully written and well argued account." The Times

"A new and controversial account of one of the pivotal figures in British history. This scholarly account is nonetheless interesting and informative." Rachel Dickinson, Waterstone's, Richmond, in The Bookseller

"A concise but thick-textured and comprehensive reconsideration of a character, a career, a life and a reputation, making no claim to be definitive - each generation commands its own reappraisal - but ensured of an enduring place in the historiography." Ivan Roots, Cromwelliana

"Serious and well researched." The Sunday Times

"Oliver Cromwell is a superb and scholarly biography, and essential reading for any definitive study of 17th century British and Irish history. Midwest Book Review

"The strength of Peter Gaunt's book is that it integrates Cromwell's military and political careers and deals seriously and sensitively with his religion. It is also well written. In his handling of Cromwell's battlefield exploits, Gaunt is superior to virtually all other recent biographers ... Gaunt has written the most useful biography since C. H. Firth's Oliver Cromwell and the Rule of the Puritans appeared in 1900." Albion

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.
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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: 1,016,430
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Gaunt is Senior Lecturer in History at University College Chester. He is also Chairman of The Cronwell Association.

Historical Association Studies are incisive essays on major historical topics. Intended for students, books in the series provide critical interpretations of research in some of the central themes and key episodes of history.

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Table of Contents


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.



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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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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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