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This biography, first published in 1940, examines the career of William Laud, Charles I's Archbishop of Canterbury during the so-called "eleven years tyranny" from 1629-1640. He sought to impose a Catholic character on the English Church and a clerical domination on the English people. The attempt failed and its author, thrown from power in 1640, was ultimately executed on Tower Hill during the ensuing Civil War. Ever since, he has been a controversial figure in English history, denounced as a tyrant and a bigot or extolled as a statesman and martyr, according to the religious and political views of his biographers. But behind Laud's political and religious conservatism there lay something else: a large if rigid social ideal which is often obscured by his human limitations. Hugh Trevor-Roper endeavours to highlight this aspect of Laud's personality and career.
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