Top critical review
Worthy read needs an editor
4 January 2017
I found this informative and eye-opening and made me realise what England missed with what happened later in the century, particularly with the restoration of the monarchy. There are many quotes based on works published at the time by the Levellers. These quotes in the original language gave immediacy though they challenged me because of spelling and 17c syntax difference. I sometimes found reading aloud got me out of any problems with the quotes. Occasionally I wondered where English spelling has changed the 17c approach was more logical.
I am not a succinct writer myself but I appreciate it in an historian and this writer needs precision. As I read I wondered if this was originally a Ph.d thesis as I kept wanting to edit the book, including copy editing. I wanted to remove repetition - early on it seemed e.g. I was being told Richard Overton was a printer far too frequently, and sometimes I thought the paragraphs need division. Then when I come across phrases like 'more or less', though I use them myself, I they they slow down the pace of the book and add nothing.
Also longer quotes from the 17c publications are put in separated paragraphs with a different font and size from what I'll call the body of the work. I found that helped get over the books denseness but what I didn't understand was that sometimes the first line back from one of those paragraphs was a continuing quote from the same person/document. I appreciate this is design role more than editor's.
I expect references to other historians work. All I want to see in a book see is the Historian's name, the quote and a note number which I can use to to refer to the publication in which it appears. I do want to know the Historians work is 'timeless', follows 'close analysis,' 'follows exemplary research, ' nor a whole sentence preamble up to the quote about the historian. That final phase particularly applied to the final chapter which reviews works by other historians. The final chapter is far too chatty a summary needs gumption.
Whilst a professional editor would improve the books structure and tightness in this form it is still well worth reading.