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Phil Withington writes:
Blair Worden, leading revisionist and elder statesman of 17th-century political history, is on record as worrying that ‘public life has never been less historically conscious or informed.’ To which a justifiable response could be: ‘What did you expect?’ Worden was instrumental in the quest to rid 17th-century history of what he terms ‘anachronism’, ‘sociological explanation’ and its Whig or Marxist legacies. Since the publication of his first book in 1974 he has argued that the regicide of 1649, and the constitutional experiments that followed it, were contingent, unexpected and ultimately ruinous for the parliamentary cause. His new book, God’s Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell, brings together essays written from the early 1980s to the present day and provides a kind of history of the revisionist thread.