Much ink has been spent on accounts of the English Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century yet royalism has been largely neglected. This pioneering volume of essays by leading scholars in the field seeks to fill that significant gap in our understanding by focusing on those who took up arms for the king. The royalists described were not reactionary, absolutist extremists but pragmatic, moderate men who were not so different in temperament or background from the vast majority of those who decided to side with, or were forced by circumstances to side with, Parliament and its army. The essays force us to think beyond the simplistic dichotomy between royalist 'absolutists' and 'constitutionalists' and suggest instead that allegiances were much more fluid and contingent than has hitherto been recognized. This is a major contribution to the political and intellectual history of the Civil Wars and of early modern England more generally.

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