The Restoration: England in the 1660s (History of Early Modern England)

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9780631195740: The Restoration: England in the 1660s (History of Early Modern England)

This cultural history challenges the standard depiction of the 1660s as the beginning of a new age of stability, demonstrating that the decade following the Restoration was just as complex and exciting as the revolutionary years that preceded it.

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The restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the return of Charles II to his throne have often been depicted as a watershed in English history, inaugurating a period of stability following the upheavals and radicalism of the Civil War, the Republic and the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. N. H. Keeble's study challenges this portrayal of events, arguing that the Restoration was in fact tentative and insecure, unsure either of its popular support or its future.

Keeble's cultural history of the 1660s offers a multi-faceted and dynamic model of the decade. Drawing extensively on contemporary accounts, the author reveals that for those who lived through them, the events of 1660 carried no sense of finality or assurance of a new age. By representing the voices of the time, his account restores contingency, instability and insecurity to the Restoration and demonstrates that the 1660s were no less complex or exciting than the revolutionary years that preceded them.

About the Author:

N. H. Keeble is Professor of English Studies and Deputy Principal at the University of Stirling. He is the author of Richard Baxter: Puritan Man of Letters (1982) and The Literary Culture of Nonconformity in Later Seventeenth-Century England (1987). He has compiled a two-volume Calendar of the Correspondence of Richard Baxter (1991, with Geoffrey F. Nuttall) and has edited texts by Baxter, John Bunyan and Lucy Hutchinson, as well as collections of essays on Bunyan and an anthology illustrating The Cultural Identity of Seventeenth-Century Woman (1994).

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