The Noble Revolt: The Overthrow of Charles I

Now available in paperback

Blair Worden writes:

There was, Trevor-Roper thought, no basic divide of political theory between king and Parliament, both of whom called for a ‘limited’ or ‘mixed monarchy’. The division between Roundheads and Cavaliers was the cause, not a consequence, of the struggle for sovereignty over which the Civil War was fought. That interpretation has since become something like a commonplace. Adamson confronts it head-on, to imposing effect. In his eyes there was a revolutionary situation even before the Long Parliament met in November 1640. Historians, he asserts, ‘have not grasped how close England came to civil war in the late summer’ of that year. Giving an interpretative edge to recent archival discoveries, he argues that the dissident peers entered into a treasonous alliance with the Scottish Puritans or ‘Covenanters’. They worked with the Covenanters again in 1641, planning to strip the Crown of its powers in both countries, and simultaneously devising a militantly Protestant foreign policy to be jointly controlled by English and Scottish Puritans almost independently of their shared king.

(LRB 24 May 2007)

Other Titles of Interest