Royalist and Parliamentarian Historians before the Restoration
The principal genres of historical writing used by the people who wrote histories of the Civil War in the years before the Restoration will be evident from the following, but a few general observations about these genres may be included to serve as an introduction and to fill the gaps. Autobiographical patches often appear in the histories, but no full length autobiographies or memoirs dealing sufficiently with the war to be considered as histories of the Civil War for our purposes appeared in print so early. Biographies of prominent Civil War figures published in this period tend to be political histories rather than studies of a human being; with one or two exceptions, the best biographies, judged as biographies, were written later or, if written in this period, were retained for publication later. The lack of autobiographies and memoirs and the literary deficiencies of biographies give the printed histories of this period taken as a whole an air of drabness that is not characteristic of their successors after the Restoration; one must, however, except from this general charge of drabness the works of Heylyn and Fuller, who have been selected for detailed treatment later in this chapter. Several printed collections of documents appeared, most notably the first volume of Rushworth’s Historical Collections; further notice of these will be reserved for the chapter on Rushworth and Nalson. Finally, it may be said that neither now nor at any later time did the war give rise to any new genre of historical writing in England, though it gave a great impetus to certain genres already existing, especially autobiography and biography.
KeywordsPolitical History Historical Writing Loeb Classical Library Church History Royalist Opinion
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