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Milton and the English Civil War: Cromwell

8. The Restoration

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In this final module, we look at the process by which the monarchy was restored and Charles II returned to the throne. In particular, we focus on Charles' attempts to reverse all the changes that had been made during the past twelve years and continue the work of his father. It was at this point that John Milton began writing Paradise Lost, an attempt to remind the English people why the English Civil War had happened in the first place, and why Charles II should never be allowed to remove it from the historical record.


This course provides key historical context for John Milton's 'Paradise Lost', looking in particular at the figure of Oliver Cromwell. The course is divided into eight parts. The first looks at Cromwell's invasion of Ireland (1649-53), before subsequent modules look at his early life, his life as a politician, and then a soldier. The fourth, fifth, and sixth modules look at the English Civil Wars, beginning with a general overview of what life (and death) was like in this period, before examining in more detail the First and Second Civil Wars, ending with the trial and execution of Charles I. In the final two modules, we explore the Interregnum and, finally, the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.


Diane Purkiss is a Professor at Keble College, Oxford. She has published two books on the English Civil War - 'The English Civil War: A People's History' (2006) and 'Literature, Gender, and Politics during the English Civil War' (2005).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Purkiss, D. (2018, August 15). Milton and the English Civil War: Cromwell - The Restoration [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Purkiss, D. "Milton and the English Civil War: Cromwell – The Restoration." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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