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Cromwell, Our Chief Of Men

Cromwell, Our Chief Of Men [Kindle Edition]

Antonia Fraser
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

The bestselling historian¿s biography of a decisive figure in England¿s history.

Product Description

No Englishman has made more impact on the history of his nation than Oliver Cromwell; few have been so persistently maligned in the folklore of history. The central purpose of Antonia Fraser's book is the recreation of his life and character, freed from the distortions of myth and Royalist propaganda.

Cromwell was a man of contradictions and surprising charm. This decisive and ruthless commander was also a country gentleman and a passionate connoisseur of music. Of Cromwell's fitness for high office, this fascinating biography leaves no doubt. Under his rule English prestige abroad rose to a level unequalled since Elizabeth I, yet his campaign in Ireland has cast a shadow over his reputation.

Antonia Fraser displays great insight into this complex man and reveals a totally unexpected Cromwell, far removed from the received stereotype.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3608 KB
  • Print Length: 998 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (16 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00550O196
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,660 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging popular biography 22 Jun 2008
Antonia Fraser's 'Cromwell, Our Chief of Men', at over 700 pages, is certainly monumental in proportion to its subject. Lady Antonia has succeeded in writing an engaging, comprehensive, and sympathetic biography of Oliver Protector that challenges us to re-examine this much-maligned giant of English (and indeed Scottish, Welsh, and Irish) history. Cromwell emerges as an affectionate husband, friend, and father, a sincere Christian, a tremendously effective military leader and, despite his Irish atrocities, a humanitarian genuinely committed to alleviating the lot of the masses.

My greatest problem with Lady Antonia's account is that she seems torn between her like of Cromwell and her royalist convictions. This seriously plagues her description of the trial and execution of Charles I and Cromwell's agonising over whether to accept the crown in 1657. Lady Antonia concludes that the execution of the king was unlawful. So it certainly was, by the laws of the time; but by such standards the Nuremberg trials were equally unlawful. A sounder approach might have been to investigate the difficulties posed by a legal system that placed certain people above the law. Lady Antonia also refuses to give Cromwell credit for refusing the crown.

All in all, despite some downsides like the above, and some minor irritations (typographical errors and Lady Antonia's hostility towards the common comma), this is a well-written popular biography that is warmly recommended to all who wish to learn more (or, indeed, anything at all - as was the case with me) about the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good...but long! 2 Sep 2003
This book is initially a very daunting prospect. I found it quite easy to get into, though, and enjoyed the first third. After the Civil War ended, I felt it got a bit bogged down and tricky to remember who was who, but well worth the effort still. It certainly picks up again towards the end.
Overall a very well written and interesting book which really helps one to understand Cromwell. Certainly he was not unworthy of the title, Our Chief of Men. He puts the current breed of so-called 'politicians' to shame! A very good read and well worth reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating (in parts) 22 Jun 2010
By Rufus
The 'problem' with Antonia Fraser is that she's a woman! I don't mean that in any sexist way, God forbid, only in respect that her layout structure doesn't cater for the male population. This book is a mammoth undertaking and expertly reseached and written - 5 stars for that aspect, but how I craved for more detailed battle coverage and parlimentary strife and oratory.
The best part of the book is the first third, ie: the civil wars and the lead up to the conflicts. The middle section sags somewhat into boredom before rallying at the death. If the first third had been developed more and the less interesting early years of the Protectorate condensed, this would have been a far more interesting read than it is. However, that said, this is a major work on Cromwell and unlikely to be improved upon.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an outstanding book of great depth 8 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Although I had my doubts about reading a 700 page history book, I must say that as soon as I picked it up it was almost impossible to put down. The book charts The life of Oliver Cromwell from birth right through the civil wars to the end of his life. Lady Antonia Fraser has written a book that goes into not inconsiderable detail, she takes her information from many sources and weaves them together to produce a book that you believe tells the real story. Throughout this book you can read the way England came into the great civil wars, How the people reacted and how the two sides fought, both against each other and within their own ranks. The book endeared itself to me for many reasons, The detail is fantastic and helps you to understand why things took place and not just how. If there is a criticism then I think it must be that Cromwell does come across very well, He does not seem to be this cruel military leader who mercilessly cut down the Irish and brought havoc on the land. In the end though I am forced to conclude that the book is incredibly well written and an outstanding read. The book brought out a desire in me to learn more about the civil war and Englands history which no other book has ever managed. Antonia Fraser hits the mark here, a fascinating read.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cromwell, Our Chief of Men 15 Feb 2002
By bywater
I have read some excellent biographies of Oliver Cromwell, but Lady Antonia Fraser's book is easily the best of them. Whether she is talking about Cromwell's character, or his ability as a soldier/statesman, she puts the record straight against the many false views of Cromwell, and shows him to have been, for England, "our chief of men". That Cromwell erred is not glossed over, as she paints him as he really was, "warts and all", but Antonia Fraser truly captures the Christian heart of the man that is so often neglected by other historians. Given her Roman Catholic background her account of this great Protestant leader is a truly remarkable one. Her pages on the battles and sites of the Civil War are written as though she personally had visited each one. She excels at the strategic overview of the war policies of both sides as they fluctuated under the pressure of events. She is superb, too, on the political complexities Cromwell had to contend with under his Protectorate. This book is detailed and very readable and is in my view the best biography of Oliver Cromwell available.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My second 'all time favourite' book
Published 13 days ago by GS
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Boy
I'm the kind of person who NEVER gives up on a book, but this one ... I'm struggling to keep going. This is a fascinating story, but the telling of it here is turgid, dull, SLOW... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Victoria Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought Again & Again
At first glance, when I first bought this book, I thought, "blinding, that's a big book". As I read the book, it became more and more captivating. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chris Shannon
2.0 out of 5 stars The Rights of the People Have Nowhere to Stand
Antonia Fraser goes by the feudal title of "Lady Antonia Fraser". So it is perhaps not surprising that in her biography of Cromwell she shows sympathy both for a king and for a man... Read more
Published 6 months ago by John Pratt
5.0 out of 5 stars cromwelltastic !!
one of Antonia's best ! oliver arrived on time and the description was very accurate , I have'nt read it yet but look forward to doing so !!
Published 7 months ago by david taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars Clearly authoritative but perhaps over long
A lot of good stuff about this important yet complex man. His place in history is assured and the book sets out the good and bad. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Book worm UK
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
This book strips away the myths surrounding Cromwell created by his enemies.
It details a period where Parliament and Cromwell created a great army and navy which started... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dobbin
5.0 out of 5 stars the parliament
A present for my grandson who studies history. He is very pleased with the book it is well written and easy to understand
Published 10 months ago by Roy W. Simons
This excellent book must certainly be the definative work on Oliver Cromwell.
Starting with his childhood and following comprehensivly his life until his death on 3rd... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Scotty of Tonbridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Opinion of 'Cromwell, Our Chief of Men'
The book is easily readable, informative, detailed and well researched . The historical characters are described very fairly and I would recommend the book to anyone interested in... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr. Laurence Grainger
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