The Civil Wars after 1660

June 2013
5 black and white illustrations
300 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History
ISBN: 9781843838159
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037040

The Civil Wars after 1660

Public Remembering in Late Stuart England

Matthew Neufeld

Drawing upon the interdisciplinary field of social memory studies, this book opens up new vistas on the historical and political culture of early modern England.
This book examines the conflicting ways in which the civil wars and Interregnum were remembered, constructed and represented in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England. It argues that during the late Stuart period, public remembering of the English civil wars and Interregnum was not concerned with re-fighting the old struggle but rather with commending and justifying, or contesting and attacking, the Restoration settlements. After the return of King Charles II the political nation had to address the question of remembering and forgetting the recent conflict. The answer was to construct a polity grounded on remembering and scapegoating puritan politics and piety. The proscription of the puritan impulse enacted by the Restoration settlements was supported by a public memory of the 1640s and 1650s which was used to show that Dissenters could not, and should not, be trusted with power. Drawing upon the interdisciplinary field of social memory studies, this book offers a new perspective on the historical and political cultures of early modern England, and will be of significant interest to social, cultural and political historians as well as scholars working in memory studies.

Matthew Neufeld is Lecturer in early modern British history at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Table of Contents

The Restoration Regime and Historical Reconstructions of the Civil War and Interregnum
Restoration War Stories
Representing the Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1680-5
Struggling over Settlements in Civil-War Historical Writing,1696-1714
John Walker and the Memory of the Restoration in Augustan England
Thanking God those Times are Past
Select Bibliography


An excellent piece of history writing....It is hoped that the book reaches a wide readership especially those interested social, cultural, and political histories. For scholars working in memory studies, this is a goldmine. A TRUMPET OF SEDITION

[Neufeld] has begun a more detailed and closely argued discussion of late Stuart public memory than any to date, and The Civil Wars after 1660 will serve as an important frame of reference for future work on this subject. JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES

Offer[s] a welcome consolidation of arguments and material concerning the politics of memory in later Stuart England. HISTORY

An important addition to the historiographical 'turn to memory' which demonstrates convincingly that public remembrance of the civil wars was a vital element of post-Restoration discourse. WAR IN HISTORY

A thoughtful, thorough and generally persuasive monograph. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

A valuable contribution to the rapidly growing field of interest in public memory of the early modern period in England. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL

This is a welcome addition to a burgeoning field of study - the nature and role of memory in pre-modern cultures - and it also speaks to a growing interest in the nature of post-war societies and the processes of post-conflict reconciliation. . An interesting and controversial argument about the politics of historical production in Restoration England. REVIEWS IN HISTORY

The Civil Wars after 1660 opens up this new and highly worthwhile subject of study, sketching out the territory and a key theme, the early politicization of memories of the Civil War, with a series valuable essays. It leaves a tempting landscape for further exploration by both historians and literary scholars. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY

An intelligent, alert, and challenging book that deserves to be widely read by all those who want to understand the political, religious, and intellectual history of late seventeenth century England; and who want to grapple with the way that the writings of that period still shape and distort our view of the Revolution itself. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY

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