Hutton Ronald - The royalist war effort 1642-1646

Author : Hutton Ronald
Title : The royalist war effort 1642-1646
Year : 2003

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Introduction to the second edition. This book was a product of the years from 1976 to 1980, a period which, though now only twenty years in the past, seems already to belong to another age of historiography The body of objective information provided in it has stood the test of time well enough to make a fresh edition worthwhile, but the context of scholarship in which it operates has altered in major respects, and the purpose of this new introduction is to provide a personal view of those alterations, and of the whole changing field of Civil War studies in the 1980s and 1990s. In one crucial respect little has altered at all; that historiographically the Royalists remain the poor relations of the Parliamentarians. Overwhelmingly, the academic historians of the Civil War have continued to concentrate upon the latter, exactly as they had done for the past hundred years. This cmphasis has united the majority of those who have worked on the field since 1970, including figures as disparate in their age-group and religious and political attitudes as Christopher Hill, Austin Woolrych, Willie Lamont, Gerald Aylmer, Ivan Roots, Donald Pennington, John Morrill, Blair Worden, Clive Holmes, Anthony Fletcher, Robert Ashton, Ann Hughes, Ian Gentles, Stephen Roberts, Mark Kishlansky and John Adamson. In its ‘hard’ form, this tendency has consisted of an open antipathy towards the King’s adherents and sympathy towards their opponents; more commonly it has taken a ‘soft’ form, of paying far more attention to the Parliamentarians and treating them as both more significant and more normative for the history of the war. Why this bias should be so deeply embedded in English (and American) historiography is a question which needs a study in itself, and one which would be the more difficult and potentially offensive in that the prejudice seems to be unconscious. It is, however, one which is starting to be acknowledged; in a review in The Times Literary Supplement on 29th January 1999 Blair Worden stated bluntly that for over a century historians of the Civil War ‘have been writing about, and mainly for, the winning side’. ...

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