A Tinker and a Poor Man (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
As wide-ranging and diverse as it surely is, Christopher Hill’s work on seventeenth century England is unified by recurrent concerns. It is no overstatement to say that he (although not single-handedly, as he would be the first to admit) has redrawn the contours of one of the most crucial eras of English history, the Civil War period, stretching from the accession of Charles I in 1625 to the Glorious Revolution in 1688. Like many historians, although perhaps more sympathetically than most, he has emphasized the contributions of the Dissenters (those outside the framework of the government-supported Anglican church) to the breakdown of traditional models of worship and social and political organization, and their great role in helping to forge new and sometimes radical ideas of personal freedom, political rights, and shared ownership of the earth. Hill is perhaps the great proponent among modern historians of the “good old cause,” the truly revolutionary hopes and dreams that surfaced especially during the relaxation of censorship and government-sponsored suppression of ideas from the early 1640’s to the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. In much of his work he gravitates toward people normally thought of as unimportant and uninfluential, arguing persuasively that neglecting such groups as the Levellers, Ranters, or Fifth Monarchists leads to a serious misrepresentation of the real climate of opinion and social agitation in seventeenth century England. These...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
Choice. XXVI, June, 1989, p. 1734.
Kirkus Reviews. LVI, November 1, 1988, p. 1582.
Library Journal. CXIV, January, 1989, p. 89.
London Review of Books. XI, February 2, 1989, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. January 22, 1989, p. 1.
The New York Review of Books. XXXVI, March 2, 1989, p. 27.
The New York Times Book Review. XCIV, March 12, 1989, p. 31.
The New Yorker. LXV, March 27, 1989, p. 116.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXXIV, December 9, 1988, p. 50.
The Times Literary Supplement. December 30, 1988, p. 1436.
The Washington Post Book World. XIX, February 12, 1989, p. 13.
Wilson Library Bulletin. LXIII, May, 1989, p. 129.
(The entire section is 77 words.)