Disaffection and Everyday Life in Interregnum England

October 2017
1 black and white illustrations
300 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037040, HIS015000

Disaffection and Everyday Life in Interregnum England

Caroline Boswell

A look at how ordinary English men and women responded to the transformations that accompanied the regicide, the creation of a republic, and the rise of the Cromwellian Protectorate.
How did ordinary English men and women respond to the transformations that accompanied the regicide, the creation of a republic, and the rise of the Cromwellian Protectorate? This book uncovers grassroots responses to the tangible consequences of revolution, delving into everyday practices, social interactions, and power struggles as they intersected with the macro-politics of regime change. Tussles at local alehouses, encounters with excise collectors in the high street, and contests over authority at the marketplace reveal how national politics were felt across the most ordinary of activities.

Using a series of case studies from counties, boroughs, and the London metropolis, Boswell argues that factional discourses and shifting power relations complicated social interaction. Localized disaffection was broadcast in newsbooks, pamphlets, and broadsides, shaping political rhetoric that refashioned grassroots grievances to promote royalist desires. By uniting disparate people who were alienated by the policies of interregnum regimes, this literature helped to create the spectre of a unified, royalist commons that materialized in the months leading up to Charles II's Restoration. Such agitation - from disaffected mutters to ritualistic violence against officials - informed the broad political culture that shaped debates over governance during one of the most volatile decades in British history.

CAROLINE BOSWELL is Associate Professor in History at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.

Table of Contents

Streets and Marketplaces
Drink and Disaffection
Meddling Soldiers
The "Unnatural" Excise-man
The Rise of the "Fanatic"


Caroline Boswell's book . . . presents a wealth of vivid and valuable material, much of it drawn from local records and the underused Northern Assize records. It is a very welcome addition to the literature, and a fine example of how the new politics of the parish could be closely tied to the national story. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY

It is about ordinary people living ordinary lives. This makes this book compelling reading..Where Boswell's book makes a powerful contribution to the existing literature on Interregnum England is not only in its analysis of everyday experiences in relation to larger political issues but also in its discussion of the transformative use of print. CERCLES

Scholars of 17th-century Europe will appreciate this dense book. CHOICE

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