Everyday Experiences of the English Civil War (HIH1006)

15 credits

The Civil War of 1642 to 1649 left lasting scars on the popular memories of the English nation. Men, women and children observed, and were active participants in, the tumultuous events that turned their world upside down. Whilst much of this experience has been lost to posterity, the Civil War generated a vast body of evidence with which the historian can work. As women and children waved husbands and fathers off to war, families and friends stayed in touch through letters, whilst many were forced to rely on rumour and gossip for information. Some committed their innermost thoughts to private journals and others engaged in public debates and pamphleteering. The birth of the newspaper whetted an insatiable appetite for regular reports on the latest political and military developments, which were frequently reduced to ridicule in ballads sung in the streets and alehouses. This module will utilise a diverse range of sources to capture both the insecure nature of everyday life in the Civil War and the lasting legacies of the conflict in the lives of ordinary people.