Reference > Cambridge History > Cavalier and Puritan > Historical and Political Writings > Edmund Ludlow’s Memoirs
  John Rous’s Diary The Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.

IX. Historical and Political Writings.

§ 22. Edmund Ludlow’s Memoirs.


Leaving aside, as referred to elsewhere in this volume,  34  the personal records of archbishop Laud, and merely mentioning, together with the vindictive Memoirs of Denzil, lord Holles, the modest account of his own services written by Fairfax,  35  we are constrained to pause on the Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, which, though those of a contemporary, are not always those of an eye-witness; thus, he was in Ireland during the period after Worcester, in which, in his opinion, Cromwell’s designs first clearly manifested themselves. Of these designs, and of everything which made for the superiority of the military over the civil power, and of the monarchical over the democratic principle, he was a consistent adversary; and the simple strength of his convictions invests his narrative with a moral interest which neither the dogmatism of some of his later utterances nor his occasional lack of intellectual sincerity can, in the long run, obscure. His censures on Charles I and on Oliver Cromwell necessarily gave rise to a great deal of controversy, including a Just Defence of the Royal Martyr King Charles I from the many false and malicious aspersions in Ludlow’s Memoirs, etc. (1699), and a Vindication of Oliver Cromwell from the accusations of Lieutenant General Ludlow (1698). The latter of these tracts was honoured by a brief “moral” from the pen of Carlyle, who could not, perhaps, be expected to recognise the fact that it is on the completeness with which they are assimilated by “partly wooden men” that the enduring influence of great currents of opinion “partly” depends. Ludlow’s Memoirs form one of the historical documents of English republicanism.   45

Note 34. See ante, Chap. VI. [ back ]
Note 35. See bibliography. [ back ]

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  John Rous’s Diary The Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson  
 
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