After the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth, writes M.L. Clarke, Rome became a centre of her enemies, and every English traveller was apt to be regarded with suspicion.
The secret treaty of Dover, which concluded with the diplomatic aid of the King’s sister, Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, has been much denounced by Whig historians. A.A. Mitchell asks, what is the truth about the King’s intentions?
In the Elizabethan Age feminine extravagance was often satirised by English dramatists and poets. During the seventeenth century, writes Brenda Gourgey, it rose to even more fantastic heights.
Although Pepys often refers in his Diary to Thomas Hill, he remains a somewhat shadowy figure. It is now possible to reconstruct his portrait. Hill emerges as a man after the diarist’s own heart—learned, inquisitive, sociable, garrulous. D. Pepys Whiteley recalls their friendship, which had begun in 1664 and continued until the merchant left England for Portugal.
Maurice Ashley describes how, divided by a vast gulf from the prospering gentry, seventeenth-century cottagers and labourers lived a poor and harsh life. After 1660, their standard of welfare seems to have declined.
The relationship between religion and rationality was an intimate one in 17th-century England. Christopher J. Walker looks at the arguments and controversies of the time, which helped to forge a more open society.
D.G.C. Allan introduces the eleven Secretaries of State employed by Charles II, who reflect in the variety of their personalities, the social brilliance and the shifting policies of the Restoration Age.