SEMINAR STUDIES IN HISTORY
General Editors: Clive Emsley & Gordon Martel
Seminar Studies in History...provide a means of bridging the gap between specialist articles and monographs and textbooks. They are written by acknowledged experts on the subject who are not only familiar with current thinking but have often contributed to it. Their format, well-tried and effective, combines information, analysis and assessment effectively. The selections of documents, included from the outset of the series when document work was hardly in vogue in schools, not merely illustrates points made in the text but provides an effective medium for discussion on the issues raised. The further reading guide has stimulated countless students to take their interests further. The structure of the series may not have changed through time but the format has, with attractive four-colour covers and larger pages....Seminar Studies are still, despite all the opposition, a market leader.
First published in 1982 this succinct Seminar Study has established itself as a very popular introduction to the 1650s. Written in a clear and economical style, the book assumes no prior knowledge of events, and does justice to a decade of momentous upheavals which had a permanent effect on English attitudes and politics. Now this successful book is being reissued as a Second Edition. It has been revised throughout in the light of recent historiography and, in particular, Dr Barnard has taken the opportunity to rewrite the Assessment Section from scratch. There is no doubt that the Second Edition will be greatly welcomed by a new generation of students.
The book opens with a concise introduction to the complicated events which led to the execution in 1649 of Charles I. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the political experimentation which followed. Toby Barnard shows how the radicalism of those who had made the revolution, in particular Oliver Cromwell, was tempered by the urgency of day-to-day tasks. Notable, if controversial, successes included the conquest of Ireland and Scotland, and their incorporation into the British state, and English interests were also triumphantly asserted abroad, though at high cost. The book also investigates the impact of the regime on the structures of power, in the localities and within and beyond the traditional ruling elites. Dr Barnard argues that although the survival of the revolutionary order was bound up with the person of Cromwell, so that it collapsed rapidly after he died in 1658, the regime defeated its domestic and foreign enemies and was more stable than has sometimes been allowed.