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246 × 189 mm
288 pages
111 illustrations, 48 in colour
11 May 2020
  • £40.00

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Scenes and Traces of the English Civil War Stephen Bann

The English Civil War has become a frequent point of reference in contemporary political debate. A bitter and bloody series of conflicts, it shook the very foundations of seventeenth-century Britain. This is the first attempt to portray the visual legacy of this period, as passed down, revisited and periodically reworked over two and a half centuries of subsequent English history.

Highly regarded art historian Stephen Bann deftly interprets the mass of visual evidence accessible today, from ornate tombs and statues to surviving sites of vandalism and iconoclasm, public signage and historical paintings of subjects, events and places.

‘This is the mature work of a master scholar, superbly researched and written and pioneering a new field.’ — Ronald E. Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol

‘This book is the product of subtle reasoning and considerable scholarship, dealing not with great art but with a rich seam of visual culture. Like Baudelaire’s flâneur, much of Bann’s research has taken place in the course of his peregrinations, in places that have some connection with the history of the English Civil War. He is attracted by oblique associations, by the vague and elliptical, and has an eye for inscriptions, monuments, equestrian portraits, paintings and architecture. What emerges from this study is how deeply an awareness of the violent reversals of fortune, caused by this war, entered the English psyche, and how continuing operations of memory have ensured its role within the making of an historical national identity.’ — Frances Spalding, CBE, FRSL

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Stephen Bann is Professor in the Department of History of Art at the University of Bristol. He is author of many books including Romanticism and the Rise of History (1995), Paul Delaroche: History Painted (Reaktion, 1997) and Jannis Kounellis (Reaktion, 2003).


1 Speaking Stones: Inscriptions of Identity from Civil War Monuments
2 A Kentish Family in Wartime: The Bargraves of Bifrons
3 Kings on Horseback: Charles I’s Statue at Charing Cross and its Afterlife
4 Whig Views of the Past: Horace Walpole and Co.
5 Illustrating History: Visual Narratives from the Restoration to Hume’s History of England
6 Boots and All: Cromwell Evoked by James Ward and Paul Delaroche
7 French Genre for English Patrons: Paul Delaroche’s Charles I Insulted by the Soldiers of Cromwell
8 A Sense of an Ending: Problems of English History Painting in the Nineteenth Century

List of Illustrations