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Puritanism and Revolution: Studies in Interpretation of the English Revolution of the 17th Century Paperback


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Puritanism and Revolution: Studies in Interpretation of the English Revolution of the 17th Century + The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (Penguin History) + The Century of Revolution: 1603-1714 (Routledge Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312174349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312174347
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A highly readable book which should absorb anyone who wants to know why English political and social history developed as it did." --Financial Times (UK)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stillman A. Morgan on April 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Only tenuous connections to the English Revolution unify the subject matter of the essays collected in Puritanism and Revolution, yet the book coherently argues a single thesis: that the English Revolution must be studied in its diversity. Hill proves his thesis by writing essays on a wide variety of subjects: the effects of the dissolution of the monasteries, the use of the idea of the "Norman yoke," English ties to internationalism, agrarian legislation, Lord Clarendon, poor relief, political sermons, Hobbes's political theory, Harrington's utopia, an insane vegetarian hatter, a preacher of the end times, a metaphysical poet, and a novel. The wide variety of subject matter itself proves his point. The essays themselves explain only small parts of the English Revolution but convey the larger message.

Hill groups his essays into two categories. The first, "Movements and Men," looks at general trends over lengthy periods of time. This category largely, though by no means exclusively, deals with economic factors, and its essays are more clearly connected to the English Revolution. The second, "Men and Movements," looks at the specific contributions of individuals to the Revolution. It is longer and also more diverse. Though its essays are less clearly connected to the Revolution, its diversity contributes more to Hill's thesis.

These essays also are grouped more specifically. The first essay surveys several different scholarly interpretations of the English revolution, criticizing many in their entirety and some in part. Hill then discusses economics, identifying the effects on society of the seizing of the monasteries and nunneries under Henry VIII.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Khalid Alserkal on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Table of Contents

Preface

Abbreviations

1 Recent Interpretations of the Civil War 3

2 Social and Economic Consequences of the Henrician Reformation 30

3 The Norman Yoke 46

4 The English Revolution and the Brotherhood of Man 112

5 The Agrarian Legislation of the Revolution 139

6 Lord Clarendon and the Puritan Revolution 181

7 William Perkins and the Poor 195

8 The Political Sermons of John Preston 216

9 Thomas Hobbes and the Revolution in Political Thought 248

10 James Harrington and the People 269

11 The Mad Hatter 282

12 John Mason and the End of the World 290

13 Society and Andrew Marvell 303

14 Clarissa Harlowe and Her Times 332

Index 357
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Senna777 on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for a grad. course.

C. Hill is a great writer, and the book is very easy to follow. However, while his contributions to English history are certainly there, Hill's Marxist view of history certainly has hurt his work. The argument that Henry VIII's rebellion against the papacy created a rebellious spirit in the english people that ultimately led to the English Civil War, is short sighted. It can be argued, as M. Walzer argues, that the nature of Calvinism created a different approach to politics, or a revolutionary one. The way Calvinists percieved the world and their position in it certainly effected the English political culture during the 17thc. However, while this may have some truth, the idea that everything that happened in tyhe 1640s is purely based off Henry's opposition to the papacy needs to be re-worked. And, it has been re-worked by well post-marxists historians or what we would call post-Hillian approahces to English history.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Cooper on May 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is now a period piece. It is a collection of entertaining and provocative essays about the events of 1640-1660, which the author habitually presented as `The English Revolution'. As an interpretation of seventeenth century English history, it can no longer be taken seriously. As a guide to the way that many intellectuals thought about the English Civil War, it was taken very seriously indeed in 1958.

Christopher Hill (1912 - 2003) was a brilliant scholar. In 1932 he was awarded a first-class honours degree and in 1934 he won an All Souls Fellowship at Oxford. As an undergraduate he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain and in 1935 he undertook a prolonged trip to the Soviet Union. As A.L. Rowse wrote in `Historians I have Known' 1995), he `swallowed the Communist faith hook, line and sinker'. He made his name as a professional historian with `Economic Problems of the Church' (1956). In 1965 he was elected as Master of Balliol College.

I bought `Puritanism and Revolution' in 1964 when I was studying the seventeenth century at `A' level. We also had Hill's `Century of Revolution' (1961) as a text book at school and I was bowled over by both. Christopher Hill seemed to have the explanation for everything - the key to understanding the past and the present; and he wrote in an uncompromising, combative style, as if no-one else had thought of any of this before. He made me feel connected with the hopes of those Puritan revolutionaries for a better future; and that I was engaged in the study of a serious subject. History was not just `one damned thing after another'.
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