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From Republic to Restoration

Legacies and departures

Edited by: Janet Clare

This volume challenges a traditional period divide of 1660, exploring continuities with the decades of civil war, the Republic and Restoration and shedding new light on religious, political and cultural conditions before and after the restoration of church and monarchy. The volume marks a significant development in transdisciplinary studies, including, as it does, chapters on political theory, religion, poetry, pamphlets, theatre, opera, portraiture, scientific experiment and philosophy. Chapters show how unresolved issues at national and local level, residual republicanism and religious dissent, were evident in many areas of Restoration life, and recorded in plots against the regime, memoirs, diaries, historical writing, pamphlets and poems. An active promotion of forgetting, the erasing of memories of the Republic and the reconstruction of the old order did not mend the political, religious and cultural divisions that had opened up during the civil wars. In examining such diverse genres as women’s writing, the prayer book, prophetic writings, the publications of the Royal Society, histories of the civil wars by Clarendon and Hobbes, the poetry and prose of Milton and Marvell, plays and opera, court portraiture and political cartoons the volume substantiates its central claim that the Restoration was conditioned by continuity and adaptation of linguistic and artistic discourses.

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Blair Worden

23 Chapter 1 1660: restoration and revolution1 Blair Worden O n the face of it the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 is not hard to explain. An unforeseen and mostly unwanted civil war had had unforeseen and mostly unwanted consequences. The fracturing of the parliamentarian cause by the regicide; the inability of the regimes of the 1650s to root themselves in public feeling or establish coherent principles of government; their dependence on military rule and on the massive taxation that sustained the army and navy; the powers and intrusiveness of a swollen

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Bryan White

289 Chapter 14 Restoration opera and the failure of patronage Bryan White T he development of opera in England has been a vexed subject since the seventeenth century. ‘Experience hath taught us that our English genius will not rellish that perpetual singing’ was Peter Motteux’s assessment in 1692.1 For much of the twentieth century, scholarly opinion was not markedly different. In Foundations of English Opera Edward Dent asserted that ‘music for the Italian is the exaggeration of personality –​for the Englishman its annihilation’.2 For him and other critics

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Projecting the Experiment

Science and the Restoration

Ted McCormick

185 Chapter 9 Projecting the Experiment: science and the Restoration Ted McCormick Introduction T he history of seventeenth-​century English science has often been written as the history of the institutionalisation of experimental natural philosophy. A  classic narrative account of the growth of English science might begin with Francis Bacon (d. 1626), culminate with Isaac Newton and the Principia (1687), and pivot around the formation of the Royal Society shortly after the Restoration in 1660.1 As knowledge of and interest in the London-​based intelligencer

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Acts of oblivion

Reframing drama, 1649– 65

Janet Clare

147 Chapter 7 Acts of oblivion: reframing drama, 1649–​65 Janet Clare T he establishment of the Republic, the Protectorate and the restoration of the monarchy were accompanied by acts of pardon and oblivion. The 1652 Commonwealth ‘Act of General Pardon and Oblivion’ offered a free pardon  –​albeit with numerous exceptions  –​to those who took the ‘Oath of Engagement’.1 At the meeting of the First Protectorate Parliament on 4 September 1654, Cromwell stressed the necessity of ‘healing and settling’, after ‘so many changings and turnings’.2 In 1660, the

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Choosing a captain back for Egypt

Milton and the Restoration

Warren Chernaik

245 Chapter 12 Choosing a captain back for Egypt: Milton and the Restoration Warren Chernaik Introduction J ohn Milton viewed the prospect of the Restoration with dread. In The Readie and Easie Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, written in 1660 when the re-​establishment of monarchical government had become inevitable, he warned against ‘the precipice of destruction’ towards which ‘a misguided and abus’d multitude’ seemed to be rushing: Can the folly be paralleld, to adore and be slaves of a single person for doing that which it is ten thousand to one

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The battle of the books

The Authorized Version and the Book of Common Prayer at the Restoration

David Bagchi

124 Chapter 6 The battle of the books: the Authorized Version and the Book of Common Prayer at the Restoration David Bagchi T he years 2011 and 2012 saw, respectively, the four-​hundredth anniversary of the Authorized (or King James) Version of the Bible and the three-​hundred-​and-​fiftieth anniversary of the Restoration Book of Common Prayer. The proximity of their commemorations was appropriate, for these two pillars of English-​speaking Christianity are alike in many ways: both were literary products of the Stuart age but owed much to Tudor antecedents

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The French connection

Luxury, portraiture and the court of Charles II

Laura L. Knoppers

notorious. But such luxury is often viewed as a reaction to Puritanism or attributed to the personality and moral laxness of the King. In a European context, the luxury of Restoration court culture can be recognised as a conscious mode of representing monarchical power. Given that Charles II spent much of his exile in France in the orbit of the splendid court of Louis XIV, the culture of the restored court was shaped not only by what had happened 267 268 From Republic to Restoration in republican England, but what was happening in Grand Siècle France. When the English

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Monarchy and commonwealth

‘Republican’ defences of monarchy at the Restoration

Glenn Burgess

53 Chapter 2 Monarchy and commonwealth: ‘republican’ defences of monarchy at the Restoration Glenn Burgess I t can sometimes seem that the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy was received gratefully by a nation weary of confusion and worried by disorder. But whatever there was of weariness soon gave way to resurgent and uncompromising monarchism: in the Restoration ‘the cult of kingship flourished as never before’. This cult took various forms (Augustan, Platonic, Davidic, miraculous and feudal); but mostly it appeared as an absolutist theory of the divine

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Marissa Nicosia

Tragedie documents and dramatises current events with a strong partisan slant –​in this case, a royalist one.2 The first four acts chronicle the struggle of Charles I’s generals at the ill-​fated siege of Colchester, Cromwell’s pursuit of power, and the King’s trial and execution. The action culminates in a funereal fifth act devoted to mourning the deceased King and his fallen supporters.3 But the end of the play is not the end of the story of The Famous Tragedie, which had an important afterlife in the Restoration. The play was reprinted only a few months after King