Thoughts and Reflections on England’s Glorious Revolution (1688-1689)


Thoughts and Reflections on England’s Glorious Revolution (1688-1689)

 The Glorious Revolution 1688-1689, by Steven Pincus,  I thought was very well written. Pincus provides tremendous evidence, and for the historian is very helpful in tracing the footsteps of time back to the actual event.

In this case, the event was the English Revolution of 1688-1689, or the removal of James the II, from the crown, and placing William and Mary, on the seat of England instead. Now, the difference in this revolution, was that James II fled England, and did not have his head cut off, as was the case with Charles I.

Also, during this time, was incredible growth within England’s infrastructure and economy. Part colonialist enslavement and part industrial and factory work. The East India Trade Company was a global enterprise. Yet, under William and Mary, the East India Company would become reorganized (p.25).

Furthermore, William was more of a countryman, considered on the outside of England, whereas Mary, was from England and could secure the people’s attention and affection. In other words, the pair was seen as a well-balanced couple, in the eyes of the people.

William for his military prowess and Mary for her bloodline and good English nature.

Also, Pincus makes it known, that this is not a religious revolution, rather a change of power, which had ramifications in parliament. Interestingly, William and Mary balanced the Whigs and Torries, creating and passing many legislative motions, which Pincus has so eloquently displayed for his reader, in his research.

In closing, when reading Pincus, I really felt the anxiety and complexities of the people during the Glorious Revolution (1688-1689), through the documents he has provided.  Also, and lastly the Glorious Revolution, was not as bloodless as appeared, and yet still managed to bring great power to the hands of parliament, while still enforcing a new monarchy, which governed its people and held heavy input on legislation.

The People, Christianity, and Monarchy 1640-1660


The People, Christianity, and Monarchy 1640-1660

The English Civil Wars 1640-1660 by Blair Worden, in my opinion provided clear facts for the historian. First, I enjoyed how Blair, gives you a disclaimer, “Professional historian’s nowadays delight in the complexity and density of the subject to which this book offers an introduction.” In other words, there will be a vast of topics to cover, so get ready.

Ye,t the argument of religion, I think was properly placed. I think, Worden would argue that, everywhere in (1640-1660) Europe, religion was a major debate. Worden has stated, “The proper place of religion in English foreign policy was a divisive issue, with which the debate on the future of the English Church was embroiled.”  In other words, religion was so profound, during the mid-17th century, that foreign policy was a major issue discussed, which was coupled with such matters of theology or religion.

Also, Blair touches on salvation and the arguments which have ensued due in part to defining salvation P.79). Yet, Charles I would never really see his visions fulfilled as he was executed, doing away with his head.

The whole idea of cutting of the kings head is very impressionable, to say the least. I mean England must have felt a sense of new begging’s; especially given Cromwell’s Army, his leadership, and his oration skills. Yet, it was the “peoples” voice who he represented. (p.104)

Also, I found very interesting the conversation about Eikon Basilike ((the Kings Book (p.105)). The reason behind my interest, is because it became a bestseller, or in other words, in the public large interest was gained; and I wonder how many were truly happy to see a new monarch and how many were opposed? For that question’s answer, I will re-examine our text book in the sources and debates.

In closing, Blair Worden’s book, I felt, put me right up and close, with Charles I and his removal from the crown by his decapitation. Yet, Worden contextualizes the events of the English Civil Wars, and I found great use in reading his work.

Love, Sacrifice, and a Lynching


Love, Sacrifice, and a Lynching

When rethinking Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, many feelings or thoughts arise. The txt conveys a very intimate narrative, based on the claim of Aphra Behn’s true and unadulterated story.

Now, the validity of circumstance, places events with which, the author is held as an eye witness, or had close hand experience, or had empirical knowledge to say the least (p.6).

Nonetheless, this aspect of validity for Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, has become very problematic, yet does that not make the truth unreal? That is to say, the lynching of Oroonoko, where his body parts or limbs, were then spread around for all to see. “And turning to the men that bound him, he said, ‘My friends, am I to die, or be whipped?” The quote in my opinion illustrates not only a first person narrative, or eye witness account, as well as a formal decree, within the stories context of a lynching.

The following paragraph to those previous mentioned words, are quite brutal, yet would be the similar scene, in my opinion, as to the ones captured in pictures of the 20th century.However, this is not 19th century when  Aphra Behn was writing in fact this quote from Oroonoko, “He had learnt to take tobacco, and when he was assured he should die, he desired they would give him a pipe in his mouth ready lighted, which they did, and the executioner came, and first cut off his members, and threw them into the fire; after that, with an ill-favoured knife, they cut his ears, and his nose, and burnt them (p.72).” In other words her quote from Oroonoko was written in the 17th century.

That is to say, Oronooko, as Aphra Behn, wrote in the 17th century, placed the transcontinental slave trade from an imperial viewpoint as well as illuminated her reader’s minds to images of what would be termed lynchings of the 17th century, and tells of how the body parts of Oroonoko were passed around to other plantations in America, such as Colonel Martin. (p.73),

Now, apart from the brutality of Oroonoko, Behn relays a powerful story of love, culture, virtue and vice. As, moved as I was, the first time I read Oroonoko, I have continued to find myself leisurely looking inside the novella, for insights to strengthen my own character.

In closing, in my opinion, this novella is a powerful, and informing, work. One that illuminates areas of race and culture, where before other narratives of the 17th century may have sought to marginalize the African women. However, the story of Oroonoko builds on the life, thoughts and emotions, of Imoinda a Black female African, the wife of Oroonoko.

Also was display in Oroonoko was Imoinda’s character and her actions. Imoinda was an African female, striving for love in the face of the overwhelming odds.

In closing, Aphra Behn told the love story of King Oroonoko and his Queen Imoinda, while illustrating the true prejudice and racism of the slave trade in 17th century America.


The Perception of Moors in Europe, Featuring a Shakespearean Narrative


The Perception of Moors in Europe, Featuring a Shakespearean Narrative

Ania Loomba, in her book, Shakespeare, Race and Colonialism, expounds in great detail the vehement racism, which existed in England and was described in the play, Othello.

Loomba embarks on this journey of race, bringing light to the conversation of “Blackness,” what that means in England, its perceptions within theology, and ultimately sex, as well.

Loomba’s narrative begins with Othello, a Black Moor, who seemingly, amidst his wealth, is an outsider within his Venetian town. Furthermore, Loomba’s use of Othello generates a discussion of who Othello actually is and what his perceived vices may actually exist.

For in this discussion of Othello, Loomba highlights Othello’s religion of Islam, as being a social issue. Keeping in mind the Moor’s and Jews were expelled from Spain under Queen Isabella, in the year 1492, and Shakespeare’s Moor of Venice or Othello was performed in or around 1604.

Also, very interesting is Loomba’s linguistic use of the word fornicate, which she traced back the etymology revealing and has stated, “ the word fornicate”, the OED tells us, means lechery as well as a space that is arched, vaulted like an over or furnace’. The association between furnace and lechery in the figure of the bath attendant is established via his blackness; conversely, it reinforces with literal as well as sexual heat.(p.50)” In other words, from my opinion, the connection Loomba is making yet not clearly stating, are the racist and prejudice opinions during 16th century England.

In closing, Loomba provides her readers with a preponderance of the evidence, which leads reason beyond a reasonable doubt that in fact, that there were “Moors,” who were Black followed Islam and lived in Europe during the 16th century.

Yet, another example of the prejudice and vehement racism which existed during the 16th century of Europe, has been couched in Loomba language when she provides her readers with name “The merchant of Venice,” where Loomba states, “This hypothesis certainly reverberates with “The Merchant of Venice” where the threat posed by Moors both tawny and black, male and female, living in Venice and outside it) is both contrasted to and mirrored by the threat posed by the Jews who live within Venice.(P.148)”  What Loomba has indicated in this passage, has been the racist and prejudice perceptions of those Europeans, inside of Europe’s 16th century, who appear to be outsiders in their own land, due in part to their culture, religion, and/or, overall “Blackness.”

In closing, Loomba has provided a narrative of sex, race, and colonialism, which have been coupled and couched in the language of 16th century Europe. In my opinion, Loomba has been, nothing short of eloquent, while still examining the harsh realities, which encompasses the narrative of sex, race, and colonialism of the 16th century.

Come Out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are


Come Out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are

John Bossy’s, Under the Molehill, illuminated for me, multiple facets about Elizabeth’s reign, which previously I had not known. The first being, as the readings would have it, appears that Queen Elizabeth, felt and acted, as if she was always under scrutiny or attack. In other words, with Mary of Scotland, a Catholic, and a potential, and legitimate succession to the thrown of England, this caused Elizabeth to feel some type of way.

Elizabeth then, understandably, was constantly on the defense; given Spain and France, and the perceived bond with Mary of Scotland, could have the potential prowess, to launch tactical operations against Elizabeth’s realm. This claim is corroborated in Bossy’s book, Under the Molehill, when Bossy displays the written letters in chapter 3 of his book.

Now, the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Under the Molehill, is very interesting, because it portrays Queen Elizabeth as an active participant in her monarch, and not just a passive observer. Elizabeth set up spy’s from England to travel into Spain, France, and Scotland, and gain further intelligence, all the while, striving to snuff out any moles that were under her nose.

In closing, I am quite convinced, through Bossy’s argument, that Laurent Feron was the mole. To my mind, the documents provided, illustrate for me, Feron’s ability to travel across continents, because he did and was actively engaged in correspondence.

The second point, for me as to why I think Feron, was the mole, was because “he was familiar with Elizabeth’s hand writing.” In other words, if Feron was on the stand in the court of England, he would have a lot of explaining to do, regarding his motives, in his actions, which are located in the documents of chapter 3.

Lastly, I enjoyed Bossy’s narrative, as it has provided me with a new outlook on Elizabeth’s reign. That is to say, Elizabeth was not a passive observer in her monarchy, rather, Elizabeth actively engaged her subjects in all places of her perceived realm, from France to Spain, ultimately capturing Mary of Scotland, and warranting her to death.