Introduction
Rethinking public politics in the English Revolution
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This chapter offers a substantial historiographical introduction, reflecting upon the debates of the last fifty years, upon the ‘fate’ of the English Revolution, and upon the possibilities for reasserting the significance of the events of the 1640s and early 1650s, not least in response to ‘revisionist’ scholarship. Arguing that responses to the revisionist challenge have in many ways been less robust regarding the ‘course’ – as opposed to the ‘causes’ – of the civil wars, it builds upon the most important recent work in the field – much of it by contributors to this volume – by highlighting the need to analyse the conduct and content of ‘public politics’, as revealed in and transformed by developments in print culture. This makes it possible to reflect not just upon issues like ‘mobilisation’ and the ‘creativity’ of contemporary politics, but also to revisit issues like localism and radicalism, and to reconfigure our appreciation of the dynamic processes of contemporary debates. In other words, while the chapters are informed by analysis of print culture, they seek to integrate print culture into different aspects of public life, in order to rethink the fissures and fault lines within contemporary society, and to reframe how these affected political and religious change. Finally, the introduction sets such work in the context of, and in dialogue with, the work of Ann Hughes, in whose honour the volume has been produced.

Insolent proceedings

Rethinking public politics in the English Revolution

Editors: Peter Lake and Jason Peacey

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