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Prelude to Restoration in Ireland
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Book description

This study fills a major gap in the mainstream narrative of Irish history by reconstructing political developments in the year before the restoration of Charles II. It is the first treatment of the complex Irish dimension of the king's return. The issue of the monarchy did not stand alone in Ireland. Entangled with it was the question of how the restoration of the old regime would affect a Protestant colonial community which had changed in character and fortune as a result of the Cromwellian conquest, the immigration that had accompanied it and the massive transfer of land that followed. As the return of Charles became increasingly probable, Cromwellian and pre-Cromwellian settlers were united in their determination to ensure that the restoration of Charles did not deprive them of their gains. This account discloses how the leaders of the Protestant establishment protected its interests by managing the transition back to monarchy.


‘This study meticulously and magisterially reconstructs what happened in Ireland between May 1659 and May 1660 … a distinguished example of scholarship presented in the most accomplished fashion by the foremost historian of seventeenth-century Ireland.’

T. C. Barnard - Hertford College, Oxford

‘The elegantly spare title of this typescript belies the significance of its contents … Clarke’s feel for politics is very sure. The shrewdness of his assessments is a joy to encounter. All this has a significance for the historiography of the Commonwealth and Restoration that goes way beyond the Irish theatre of politics.’

James Maguire - University College, Dublin

‘… a consummate master. Professor Clarke has confounded sceptics by wresting from the unpromising 1660 a vintage which can be savoured by connoisseurs and novices alike.’

Source: The Irish Times

‘… will undoubtedly become the definitive account of a neglected episode in Irish history.’

Patrick Little Source: History of Parliament Trust, London

‘Clarke’s book fills a substantial hiatus in the historiography. The book is superbly written with crisp, sharp prose and is meticulously referenced, with a bibliography that is indispensable for the study of this period.’

Source: English Historical Review

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