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The Stuart Age: England, 1603-1714 Paperback – June 14, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0582772519 ISBN-10: 0582772516 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 3rd edition (June 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582772516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582772519
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,439,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Reviews of the previous editions:

"What an excellent book this is. The second edition provides without doubt the most up-to-date and the most judicious overview of the seventeenth century we are likely to have for many years" History Today

"Anyone who reads it and is bored has no interest in Stuart England" Clayton Roberts

"This is the introductory survey of seventeenth-century English history for which teachers in sixth form and tertiary education have been waiting for years."History

From the Back Cover

For over twenty years Barry Coward¿s The Stuart Age has been widely recognised as the best general book on the period.

"This is the introductory survey of seventeenth-century English history for which teachers in sixth form and tertiary education have been waiting for years."

(John Morrill in History)

"It can be recommended with confidence to undergraduates and sixth-formers as much the most comprehensive and up-to-date textbook on Stuart England." (John Miller in The Times Higher Educational Supplement).

"Here at last is an intelligible, enjoyable and thorough survey of a period that has become so baffling to the newcomer." (Blair Worden in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History)

"What an excellent book this is. The second edition provides without doubt the most up-to-date and most judicious overview of the seventeenth century we are likely to have for many years¿" (Jeremy Gregory in History Today)

The Stuart age is still at the centre of the most lively and intellectually exciting debates of any period of British history. The flood of new research on seventeenth-century Britain has necessitated a re-examination of existing historical interpretations. To take account of this Barry Coward has written a new extended Preface for this Third Edition.

The Stuart Age provides an accessible introduction to many major themes of the period including: the causes of the English Civil War, the nature of the English Revolution; the aims and achievements of Oliver Cromwell; the continuation of religious passion in the politics of Restoration England; and the impact on Britain of the Glorious Revolution. In it Cowards also covers the relevant history of Scotland and Ireland and gives comprehensive treatment of economic, social, intellectual, as well as political and religious history. The Third Edition also includes a useful, detailed Timeline.

The new Preface assesses the impact on the history of the period of major historiographical trends like the invention of New British History, the influence of New Historicism, the renewed emphasis on the importance of ideology and beliefs in explaining historical events, and new approaches pioneered by social historians to political culture. It also provides extensive guidance to many books and articles that have been published in the last ten years, supplementing the Bibliographical Essay at the end of the book.

Barry Coward is Reader in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. His other publications include Oliver Cromwell (Longman, 1991) and his most recent books are The Cromwellian Protectorate (Manchester UP, 2002) and A Companion to Stuart Britain (Blackwell, 2003).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Byron Geoffrey Farrow on May 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I consider myself reasonably well read and with a long standing interest in history, although mostly either ancient or twentieth century. However, before picking up this book I new almost nothing about what is known as the long seventeenth century. As my interest developed after reading Neal Stephenson's Baroque cycle of novels and a couple of biographies of Robert Hooke and Samuel Pepys I looked for a good introductory book on the period.

This is that book.

It really provides an excellent introduction to the sweep of politics and developments from the ascension of James VI and I to the throne of England, though the civil war and subsequent commonwealth, through to the Glorious Revolution and beyond to the death of Queen Anne and the Hannoverian age.

Barry Coward does an excellent job of keeping the reader focussed on the developments and themes that ran though the period (religion, with catholics, protestants and non-conformists; the evolution of 'government' between monarch and parliament). He explains the evolution of current thinking about the period, and whilst making his own opinion clear he does say when alternative interpretations are available.

Of course there are many times when I wish that he could have explored topics in greater depth (the whole civil war take only part of one chapter, for example), but there are more specialist books available on every subject (many referred to in the excellent bibliography). Also there are many thousands of people mentioned by name, and a short biographical section would have been useful to me, but the main personalities can be researched on wikipedia if required.

Overall, get this book, read this book and then be prepared to read a lot more books on the parts that interest you.
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