Sidney: Court Maxims
This remarkable expression of radical republican thought has never before been published. Algernon Sidney was among the most unrelenting partisans of the parliamentary party during the Commonwealth, and died on the scaffold in 1683 for his opposition to Charles II. Sidney's voluminous Discourses Concerning Government was published after his death, but the earlier and more vivid Court Maxims was only recently rediscovered in a manuscript in Warwick Castle. Written during Sidney's continental exile, Court Maxims is of the greatest importance for the study of the international ramifications of seventeenth-century republican thought. Its dialogue structure presents a lively discussion about the principles of government and the practice of politics, articulating a vital tradition of republicanism in an age of absolutism. These characteristics make Court Maxims a unique text, essential reading for anyone interested in republicanism or early modern political thought.
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