Clarendon and the Great Rebellion

Life a moral drama - Richard Ollard, author of the latest study of Clarendon, argues that he was uniquely placed, as both chronicler of and participant in the English Civil War, to reflect in his writings his way of 'making sense' of politics, history and religion.

Clarendon is unlike any other great English historian. Like Thucydides he wrote the history of one great convulsion, lasting some twenty years or so, in which he himself had played an important part, and in so doing achieved a masterpiece. Again like Thucydides he wrote it in undeserved exile from the country he had loved and served. Like him he never lived to see his work made public. And the History of the Rebellion, like the History of the War between Athens and Sparta, was composed at different phases of the author's career, so that considerable scholarship has been required to establish what was written when.

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