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Oliver Cromwell

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"An engaging popular biography" - by Geschichtsliebhaber (Oldenburg, Niedersachsen)
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 ... full review

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"Good concise account" - by Sam12345
Good concise account of the life of Cromwell. Only gripe, why does the kindle edition have to be written in American English?

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"Oliver Cromwell" - by L. W. Turnbull
Having studied the life and times of Cromwell I found several indications of his personality that were not clear in other biographies. The book deal generally with on outline of the civil war and ultimate protectorate. The most interesting area of Cromwell's personality was his deeply Protestant religion, although he would appear to have tolerated other faiths, whilst seeming to dislike extreme Puritanism and particularly the covenant. A book that is well worth reading to fill in some of the gaps left in other works.

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"A classic biography" - by Mr. Christopher Harris (Birmingham UK)
Ok this is an old-fashioned biography and some would say that the view it gives of Cromwell is one-sided but it is a classic and there is some great writing here. Any student of the Civil War should read this.

Be aware that this is a facsimile edition so you might find missing pages and/or pages that are a bit hard to read. However as the book is out of print and it would cost you an arm and a leg at a specialist book shop this is well worth having.

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"A reputation enhanced" - by G. J. Weeks (London)
This is a volume in a series called, Reputations, examining "the reputations of some of history's most conspicuous, powerful and influential individuals". This book certainly prompts me to seek out other such volumes for it is simply the best assessment of Oliver Cromwell that I have read.
The varying reputation of Cromwell since his death is examined then he is considered as to his remarkably swift rise from obscurity, variously as as soldier, man of God, politician and state builder.
As John Morrill has written, the key to understanding Cromwell is his providentialism. Davis agrees that you have to understand the puritan doctrine of providence to understand and judge Cromwell. Students from a secularist age are not qualified to appreciate this man unless they can enter into an understanding of the Christianity centered age that was 17th century Britain. Davis has a true understanding of the period and ... full review