Constructing Cromwell traces the complex and shifting popular images of Oliver Cromwell from his first appearance as a public figure in the mid-1640s through the period of his power to his death and eventual disinterment after the restoration of the monarchy. The meaning and impact of this enigmatic figure has long been debated in the context of mid seventeenth-century crisis but contemporary representations of Cromwell have largely been neglected. Cromwellian print, Laura Knoppers argues, transformed the courtly forms of Caroline ceremony, portraiture and panegyric and in turn complicated and altered the cultural forms available to Charles II. The book draws on extensive archival research, including manuscript sources, startling print ephemera, and visual artefacts. Placing canonical authors such as Milton, Marvell, Waller and Dryden alongside such neglected writers as George Wither and Payne Fisher, Knoppers demonstrates how literary texts both respond and contribute to political and cultural change.Read more
- First book-length study of contemporary print images of Cromwell; draws on extensive archival research, e.g. manuscript letters, diaries, petitions, satiric verse
- Reproduces and analyses almost 40 illustrations
- Broad ranging study covering literature, history, art history; places major authors like Milton, Marvell, Dryden and Waller in a new cultural/political context
Reviews & endorsements
Review of the hardback: 'Knoppers offers a fascinating exploration of the various images and representations of him in contemporary ceremonial, portraits, and printed forms. Her interdisciplinary approach is very rewarding, and she combines the historian's awareness of specific political and intellectual contexts with the literary critic's sensitivity to the texture, style, and voice of texts.' Historical Journal
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- Date Published: July 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521117852
- length: 264 pages
- dimensions: 254 x 178 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.46kg
- contains: 42 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. 'A Coffin for King Charles, A Crowne for Cromwell': royalist satire and the regicide
2. Portraiture, print, and the republican heroic
3. 'Riding in triumph': ceremony and print in the early Protectorate
4. Contesting Cromwell in the late Protectorate
5. 'I saw him dead': Cromwell's death and funeral
6. Ceremony, print, and punishment in the early restoration
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