Thomas Cromwell Machiavellian Statecraft and the English Reformation

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-16
  • Publisher: Lexington Books

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Thomas Cromwell, chief architect of the English Reformation, served as minister of Henry VII from 1531 to 1540, a period that saw more political and religious reform than any other time in Henrys thirty-seven-year reign. Thus the momentous events of the 1530s are generally (but not universally) attributed to Cromwells agency. Cromwell has been the subject of close and continuous attention for the past half century, with positive appraisal of his work and achievements as the scholarly norm. In this classroom biography, the first in a generation and the only one now in print, that judgment is largely accepted, though it is combined with earlier and more critical assessments that view Cromwell as a disciple of Machiavelli. One distinguishing feature of this study is its overview of Machiavellian though, along with its overview of Marsilian thought. Marsilius of Padua, fourteenth-century political philosopher and author of Defensor Pacis, is widely recognized as the source of Cromwells reformation ideas; but nowhere is Marsilius explicated. The same is true of Machiavelli never explicated though said to be (by Reginald Pole, cousin of Henry and cardinal of the church) the source of Cromwells ideas on statecraft. A second distinguishing feature of this book is an introductory chapter that situates Cromwell in the sixteenth century and shows his connection to important events, characters, and ideas. Thus, while this book is a biography, its focus is broader and its uses are more varied. Book jacket.

Author Biography

J. Patrick Coby is chair of the Department of Government at Smith College.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Cromwell Timelinep. xi
Introduction: Thomas Cromwell and the Sixteenth Centuryp. 1
Sources: Marsilius and Machiavellip. 17
The Pre-Ministerial Yearsp. 45
Henridan Englandp. 53
To Parliament and the Courtp. 67
The Reformation Parliamentp. 79
The Fall of Anne Boleynp. 117
Rebellionp. 131
Henrician Protestantism and the Return to Orthodoxyp. 151
Matrimonial Diplomacyp. 163
The Fall of Thomas Cromwellp. 179
Conclusion: Cromwell, the Man and the Recordp. 193
Glossary of Termsp. 201
Glossary of Personsp. 211
Bibliographical Notep. 215
Indexp. 221
About the Authorp. 229
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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