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The Noble Revolt: The Overthrow of Charles I

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In the 1630s, King Charles I’s efforts to expand royal power caused alarm throughout the British Isles. In England, a small group of noblemen chose to risk their lives and fortunes to stop him. In a magnificent new study of the political crisis during the English Civil War, acclaimed historian John Adamson explores the brilliant strategy of the men who started a movement ...more
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (first published March 3rd 2007)
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Leanda Lisle
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
John Adamson’s The Noble Revolt asserts the crucial role of political ideas in the coming cataclysm of the English civil war. His focus is close: the 18 months before the final breach between Charles I and Parliament, but it is as scholarly in depth as it is cinematic in scope. Here is a dramatic retelling of a story we thought we knew well. The old Marxist interpretation of class struggle is put to rest and so is the revisionist view that the civil war was brought about by unfortunate ...more
Gumble's Yard
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Well written book concentrating on the short period over 1640 and 1641 leading up to the English Civil War (ending with the King deciding to leave London). The book uses lots of new evidence (in particular meticulous examination of voting records and of notes kept by some of the main participants) to re-examine both the traditional Whig version (of the Civil War being part of an inevitable move towards greater freedom) and the “modern” counter interpretation (that in some ways the war was caused ...more
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An extremely detailed account of the origins of the Civil War - note not the war itself.

The focus is on the relatively little-known role of a section of the nobility in opposing Charles I. Oliver Cromwell scarcely gets a mention, and the mentions he does receive demonstrate that at this point of time he was merely a bit player.

This is a long book covering a relatively short period, and is probably only for those who are extremely interested in the subject. However, there is nothing difficult or
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is how history should be written. Terrific detail but incredibly readable - in fact, it was almost written as a novel and the content was fascinating and clearly shows the English Civil War had a complex cause beyond 'right but repugnant' Rounheads falling out with 'wrong but romantic' Cavaliers. It may not have been planned but was ultimately brought about to save the necks of a cadre of rebellious nobles who had gambled for high stakes and were likely to lose! a MUST for anyone interested ...more
Nov 17, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is history in close-up. The story starts in September 1640. Every history of 17th Century England will tell you that late that month, the king summoned a great assembly of nobles and then a parliament.
What Adamson will tell you -- and this was news to me despite a lot of reading on the topic -- is that at the start of September, 1640, a number of prominent peers, notably the Earl of Warwick, were pretty explicitly threatening to stage an armed revolt against the king to convene parliament.
Dave Benner
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best resource on the English Revolution, bar none.
Oct 24, 2007 marked it as to-buy-or-borrow
This seems like an excellent choice for anyone who loved Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. A detailed history of the political crisis that led to the overthrow of King Charles I, it won the Samuel Pepys Award for the book that makes the greatest contribution to our knowledge of Pepys, his times, or his contemporaries.

Unfortunately, it appears to only be out in the UK at the moment, but it's still high on my list of books to acquire.
Aug 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Bibi Van
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Eye-opening account of the two years leading up to Charles 1's retreat from London in 1642. Closely traces the political developments and is hugely enlightening.
Natalie Bleau
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
very interesting read.
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Recommended by Leanda de Lisle
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