Academic journal article Parergon

Wiemann, Dirk, and Gaby Mahlberg, Eds, Perspectives on English Revolutionary Republicanism

Academic journal article Parergon

Wiemann, Dirk, and Gaby Mahlberg, Eds, Perspectives on English Revolutionary Republicanism

Article excerpt

Wiemann, Dirk, and Gaby Mahlberg, eds, Perspectives on English Revolutionary Republicanism, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014; hardback; pp. 228; 1 b/w illustration; R.R.P. 70.00 [pounds sterling]; ISBN 9781409455677.

The object of this collection of ten essays, according to the editors, Dirk Wiemann and Gaby Mahlberg, is to 'take stock' of the large body of literature devoted to republicanism in early modern England by reflecting on its historiography and methodology. A postscript, written by Glenn Burgess, summaries and analyses the value of each contribution. Each theme has a balanced treatment, and the reader will appreciate the neatly organised format.

The first of the collection's three sections, 'Republican Language', consists of three essays on the subject of language and political thought. First, Martin Dzelzainis discusses the distinction premodern English commentators made, in their descriptions of republicanism, between 'commonwealth' and 'equal commonwealth' in notions of liberty and governance. Cesare Cuttica canvasses anti-republican ideas and attacks on the value of liberty in Robert Filmer's commentaries. Gunther Lottes then examines how Algernon Sidney used the political language of diverse traditions in his Discourses (1680) and suggests that the author's fixation on instituting and abrogating political authority meant he missed out on the revolutionary elements of the republican movement. …

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