Synopses & Reviews
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).
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
"The Stuart Age, Third Edition" is the definitive history of England's century of civil war and revolution. Barry Coward provides clear and accessible interpretations of the many changes that took place in these crowded years of British history, but its aim is not to persuade readers to accept these interpretations uncritically, but to help them take part in the ongoing debate themselves. This new edition clarifies and makes sense of recent historiographical trends over the last decade. In a substantial new introduction to the volume, Barry Coward provides an important assessment of the impact of new revisionist approaches on historical writing about the Stuart age. For readers interested in British History
Aimed at undergraduates and widely used by teachers and students on A-level courses, this text covers early modern British history, The Stuart Age is the definitive history of England's century of civil war and revolution.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 498-511) and index.
Occupying the top spot on most undergraduate reading lists for this period, and widely used by teachers and students on A-level courses on early modern British history, The Stuart Age
definitive history of England¿s century of civil war and revolution.
This new edition clarifies and makes sense of recent historiographical trends over the last decade. In a substantial new introduction to the volume, Barry Coward provides an important assessment of the impact of new revisionist approaches on historical writing about the Stuart age.
About the Author
Barry Coward is Reader in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is on the advisory panel of BBC History Magazine. His previous books include Oliver Cromwell (Longman, 2000) and The Cromwellian Protectorate (MUP, 2002).
Table of Contents
Lists of maps and genealogical tables Introductory note by the original series editor Acknowledgements Preface Preface to the second edition Abbreviations and short titles PART ONE: EARLY STUART ENGLAND, 1603- 1640 Introduction 1. The economy of early Stuart England
The population and the economy
Agriculture and inland trade
Mining and manufacture
Overseas trade and colonization
Conclusion 2. Society in early Stuart England
The 'history of society'
Social groups and standards of living
Intellectual developments and popular beliefs
Conclusion 3. The Elizabethan constitution
The framework of government
Stresses within the Elizabethan constitution PART TWO: THE REIGNS OF THE EARLY STUARTS, 1603-1640 Introduction 4. The survival of the Elizabethan constitution, 1603-1621
James I and the succession
Peace with Spain and the settlement in Ireland
Puritans and Catholics
James's first parliament, 1604-10
Rule without parliament, 1610-21 5. The breakdown of the Elizabethan constitution, 1621-1640
1621-4: 'Court' versus 'country'?
The prerogative 'extended...beyond its just symmetry', 1625-9
The personal rule, 1629-40 PART THREE: THE ENGLISH REVOLUTION, 1640-1660 6. The making of the English Revolution, 1640-1649
The 'causes of the English Revolution'
The constitutional crisis, November 1640-September 1641
The crisis becomes a civil war, September 1641-July 1642
The first civil war, 1642-6
The search for a settlement: king, parliament, the army, and the Scots, 1645-9 7. The failure of revolution, 1649-1660
The search for a 'godly reformation'
The Rump Parliament, 1649-53
The Barebones Parliament, July-December 1653
Cromwellian government, 1653-8
The end of the Good Old Cause, 1658-60 PART FOUR: THE REIGNS OF CHARLES II AND JAMES II, 1660-1688 Introduction 8. The failure of 'the Restoration Settlement', 1660-1667
The Convention Parliament, 1660: old wounds reopened and old problems unsolved
The Cavalier Parliament and the restored monarchy, 1661-4
The Cavalier Parliament and the restored Church, 1661-4
The second Dutch war and the downfall of Clarendon, 1664-7 9. 'Catholic' or 'Cavalier' policies, 1668-1674 10. Anti-Catholicism and exclusion, 1674-1681
The Popish Plot
The exclusion crisis, May 1679-March 1681 11. The trend towards absolutism, 1681-1688
The strengthening of royal authority, 1681-5
James II and protestant unity, February 1685-June 1688
The intervention of William of Orange, 1688 PART FIVE: THE REIGNS OF WILLIAM III AND QUEEN ANNE 1689-1714 Introduction 12. The reign of William III, 1689-1702
Politics in the reign of William III
The Glorious Revolution, 1689-90
A country at war, 1690-7
Peace and politics: the collapse of the Junto, 1697-1701
Party issues redefined, 1701-2 13. The reign of Queen Anne, 1702-1714
Politics in the reign of Queen Anne
The failure of the 'managers', 1702-8
The failure of the Whigs and Tories, 1708-14 PART SIX: LATER STUART ENGLAND: CHANGE AND CONTINUITY 14. Change
War and constitutional changes
Religious and intellectual changes
Economic and social changes 15. Continuity: 1714 - the end of the Middle Ages? Bibliographical note Appendix: Timeline Index