In order to understand the English Revolution and Civil War we need to understand Puritanism. In this classic work of social history, Hill shows Puritanism as a living faith, one that responded to social as well as religious needs. It was a set of beliefs that answered the hopes and fears of yeomen and gentlemen, merchants and artisans in the tribulations of early modern Britain, a time of extraordinary turbulence. Over this period, Puritanism, he shows, was interwoven into daily life. He looks at how rituals such as oath-taking, the Sabbath, bawdy courts and poor relief, became ways to order the social upheaval. He even offers an explanation for the emergence of the seemingly paradoxical—the Puritan revolutionaries.
“The masterly application of the author’s enormous reading give vitality to every page … a delight to read.”