In this concise and accessible biography, Martyn Bennett examines the life of Oliver Cromwell – one of the most controversial figures in world history. This study challenges long-held perceptions of Cromwell and the Commonwealth, arguing that they need to be placed at the core of early Modern British and Irish history.
Charting his early career, the origins of his political and religious thought, and the development of his notions of governance that influenced him as Lord Protector, Martyn Bennett contests the post-Restoration vilification of Cromwell to examine how his influence has shaped notions of citizenship, identity and governance and informed the relationship between religion and the state in Britain.
This radical interpretation will give students a clearer view of the motivations and achievements of a fascinating and pivotal figure in British history.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements 1. By Birth a Gentleman, 1599–1617 2. The Chief of Sinners, 1617–1637 3. A Gentleman ... Very Ordinarily Apparelled, 1639–1641 4. My Estate is Little, 1641–1643 5. The Great Agent in this Victory, 1643–1645 6. He Did not Openly Profess what Opinion He was of Himself, 1645–1647 7. I Never in all My Life Saw more Deep Sense, 1647–1649 8. Everyone must Stand or Fall by His own Conscience, 1648–1651 9. Oh, Would I the Wings like a Dove, 1651–1653 10. A Good Constable to Keep the Peace, 1653–1658 Epilogue: My Design is to Make what Haste I can to be Gone. Further Reading
Martyn Bennett is Reader in History and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Communications, Culture and Education at Nottingham Trent University. His publications include The English Civil War: A Historical Companion (2004), The Civil Wars Experienced (2000) and The Civil Wars of Britain and Ireland, 1637-1651 (1997).
"Martyn Bennett has written a short biography of Oliver Cromwell, which takes into account the most recent research...he shows a genuine empathy for his subject." Professor Charles Carlton, North Carolina State University, USA