Politics, Occasions and Texts

Authored by: Andrew R. Walkling

The Ashgate Research Companion to Henry Purcell

Print publication date:  May  2012
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754666455
eBook ISBN: 9781315613024
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043270

10.4324/9781315613024.ch6

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Abstract

Henry Purcell lived in an intensely political age. Although his birth in the chaotic year 1659 precluded his having direct experience either of the mid-century turmoil of Civil War and republican rule, or of the commotion surrounding Charles II’s restoration in 1660, he came of age during the acute political and religious crises of the 1670s and 1680s. In his adulthood he did not simply witness, but become a peripheral participant in, a revolution in his country’s constitution and government, and the early stages of a profound transformation in the nature of English politics, economics and society. Passing most of his life in such interesting times, and at such proximity to the centre of power, Purcell can hardly have failed to be influenced in some way or other by the grand events swirling about him.

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