Recollection in the Republics: Memories of the British Civil Wars in England, 1649-1659

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Following the execution of Charles I in January 1649, England’s fledgling republic was faced with a dilemma: which parts of the nation’s bloody recent past should be remembered, and how, and which were best consigned to oblivion? Across the country, the state’s opponents, local communities, and individual citizens were grappling with many of the same questions, as calls for remembrance vied with the competing goals of reconciliation, security, and the peaceful settlement of the state. Recollection in the Republics provides the first comprehensive study of the ways Britain’s Civil Wars were remembered in the decade between the regicide and the restoration. Drawing on a wide-ranging and innovative source base, it places the national authorities’ attempts to shape the meaning of the recent past alongside evidence of what the English people—lords and labourers, men and women, veterans and civilians—actually were remembering. It demonstrates that memories of the domestic conflicts were central to the politics and society of the republican interval, inflecting national and local discourses, complicating and transforming interpersonal relationships, and infusing and forging individual and collective identities. In so doing, it enhances our understanding of the nature of early modern memory and the experience of post-civil war states more broadly. Described as ‘ground breaking’ and an ‘intellectually brilliant’ work by ‘one of the outstanding talents of her generation’, Recollection in the Republics makes a major contribution to the fields of both early modern history and memory studies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9780191880742
ISBN (Print)9780198845584
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2021


  • memory
  • British Civil Wars
  • Interregnum
  • Commonwealth
  • Protectorate
  • commemoration
  • reconciliation
  • civil war
  • memory studies
  • early modern memory


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