The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor & Stuart Britain

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9780198203254: The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor & Stuart Britain

Britain under the reign of the Tudors and Stuarts was a country marked by extraordinary and dramatic change. These are the centuries of the Reformation, civil wars, and two revolutions; a time of upheaval that saw two monarchs, two wives of a king, and two Archbishops of Canterbury tried and executed; and a time of religious controversy that resulted in the torture or burning of hundreds of ordinary people. But this was also the time that marked the emergence of Britain as the most liberal and mature of European states, a politically significant era where monarchs based in southeast England imperfectly sought to extend their authority over the whole of the British archipelago. In this exciting and richly illustrated new work, eighteen leading scholars explore the political, social, religious, and cultural history of this tumultouous time.
The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor and Stuart Britain chronicles the explosion of literacy and the printed word, transformations in landscapes and townscapes, new forms of wealth, new structures of power, and new forms of political participation that freed minds and broadened horizons in the generations from 1485 to 1689. We see the consolidation of England under the reign of the Tudors, with particular contributions in setting the pattern of local government from Henry VIII's two great ministers, Thomas Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell. And we witness the rise of litigation and the creation of the aristocracy alongside the inexorable increase in prominence of the English parliament, and, of course, the creation of the Church of England and the firestorm that the Reformation wrought. Here are the marital difficulties of Henry VIII, the events which brought Charles I to the scaffold, and the circumstances that drove James II to ignominious flight, as well as keen insights into the culture and society of average people and members of the royal courts.
From the maneuverings of rulers and powerbrokers, both religious and secular, to the profound social and cultural changes that affected the lives of ordinary men and women throughout Britain--indeed, throughout the world--The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor and Stuart Britain offers the most authoritative history of this great age ever published for the general reader. For every student, scholar, and anglophile who ever wondered what it would be like to visit the royal court, this will be an indispensable volume.

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About the Author:


About the Editor:
John Stephen Morrill is Reader in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. The author or editor of 14 books, he is Vice President of the Royal Historical Society.

Review:

`It makes for a grand reading in an age in which Britain has long ceased to be great.' The Northern Echo

`A richly exciting survey of two turbulent centuries which saw great change and yet which laid the foundations for a glorious future.' The Northern Echo

`very rich indeed ... It is rich in novel complexity and detail. It is rich in a new sensitivity as to the way in which economies, societies and politics intertwine to form a series of organic wholes growing out of the landscape. This is cultural history par excellence ... an impressive illustration of how ideas once expressed as polemics have settled and intermeshed, after discussion, elaboration and modification, to make a plausible and coherent new framework for a period.' Times Educational Supplement

`I have no hesitation in recommending this excellent book, which is well up to the standard of other Oxford University press publications. Beautifully written and full of detail, with many fine pictures that complement the text, it is also a social history, rather than a military one, and would be suitable both for serious students of the period and for those who just like to keep books that they can dip into.' Raymond Wright, Orders of the Daye, July/August 1996

`offers a rare bargain from OUP ... Not least, the well-chosen illustrations document the vitality of early modern culture, that of a dynamic country on the brink of world dominance.' Kevin Sharpe, The Sunday Times

`Whilst not strictly a "royal" book, this sumptuous volume should serve as an extremely valuable background source for a period of crucial interest to those interested in the development of the British monarchy. The numerous illustrations are an integral part of the text, with excellent captions and signs of a level of pictorial research unusual in heavily illustrated histories. They are much to be commended. There are useful maps, a glossary and several useful pages of recommendations for further reading. The colour illustrations, in particular, are exemplary and the substantial text is pleasingly laid out and easy to read. The volume will surely become a standard work in its field.' Piers Brissault, Royalty Digest, A Journal of Record, Volume VI, No. 1, July 1996

`a trustworthy reference to specialists and to those who need to be versed in fields they do not research' Kurt Stadtwald, Bibliotheque D'Humanisme et Renaissance, 59, 1997

`The text is well written but scholarly ... The comprehensive bibliography will be of great value to those who wish to do further research.' Robert Burnham, School Library Journal, June 1997

`John Morrill's volume meets the challenge by using its lavish illustration not just to decorate the text, but rather to enrich its account of these two centuries ... The political story is told by weaving as many elements and perspectives together as possible, which is particularly successful for the reign of Elizabeth, the core of the book, and thus provides a more satisfying single read.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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