Overshadowed in the popular imagination by the figure of Oliver Cromwell, historians are increasingly coming to recognize the importance of Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron, in shaping the momentous events of mid-seventeenth-century Britain. As both a military and political figure he played a central role in first defeating Charles I and then later supporting the restoration of his son in 1660. England’s Fortress shines new light on this significant yet surprisingly understudied figure through a selection of essays addressing a wide range of topics, from military history to poetry. Divided into two sections, the volume reflects key aspects of Fairfax’s life and career which are, nevertheless, as interconnecting as they are discrete: Fairfax the soldier and statesman, and Fairfax the husband, horseman and scholar. This fresh account of Fairfax’s reputations and legacy questions assumptions about neatly demarcated seventeenth-century chronological, geographic and cultural boundaries. What emerges is a man who subverts as much as he reinforces assumed characteristics of martial invincibility, political disengagement and literary dilettantism.
'This book does not intend to be a pure military history - as well as looking at Fairfax the soldier and the statesman, equal attention is given to Fairfax the husband, the horseman, and the scholar. This is a meticulously researched collection of essays ... extremely enlightening - not least on how Fairfax has been portrayed in modern literature and film ...' Military History Magazine ’This is not pure military history, for as well as looking at Fairfax the soldier and statesman, the book equally considers Fairfax the husband, scholar and horseman. This is a meticulously researched collection of essays... extremely enlightening...’ Casemate 'All in all, 'An Appleton Psalter', like several of the other essays in this timely and stimulating collection, does much to persuade the reader that Fairfax - a man who was widely praised by contemporaries for his modesty, his humility and his lack of rancour - was indeed an individual who possessed many great virtues: virtues which remain admirable in the present age, just as they were in his own.' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal