By John Gurney
'The energy of estate used to be introduced into production through the sword', so wrote Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676) – Christian Communist, chief of the Diggers flow and bête noire of the landed aristocracy. regardless of being one of many nice English radicals, Winstanley is still unmentioned in today's lists of 'great Britons'. John Gurney finds the hidden historical past of Winstanley and his stream. As a part of the unconventional ferment which swept England on the time of the civil battle, Winstanley led the Diggers in taking up land and working it as 'a universal treasury for all' – scary violent competition from landowners. Gurney additionally courses us via Winstanley's writings, that are one of the so much notable prose writings of his age. Gerrard Winstanley: The Digger's lifestyles and Legacy is a needs to learn for college kids of English heritage and all these trying to re-claim the commons today.
Outstanding. an exhilarating and intensely well-written account of Winstanley's improvement as philosopher and experimental communist, with a transparent demonstration of his carrying on with relevance and his neglected effect on sleek social notion and paintings. not anyone is aware the proof higher than Gurney and during this learn he distils complicated matters right into a revealing and relaxing narrative. it's a carrying on with reminder of why in our international the stories of the 17th century nonetheless topic. -- Nigel Smith, William and Annie S. Paton origin Professor of historical and smooth Literature, Princeton college
This is a clear-eyed but sympathetic account of 1 of the main baffling figures of the English Revolution. Gurney's painstaking learn presents a wealth of latest info that's assembled right into a hugely readable narrative. An informative and thought-provoking e-book. -- Mark Kishlansky, Frank Baird Jr. Professor of historical past at Harvard college
This admirably succinct and transparent advisor to the advanced profession and regarded Gerrard Winstanley can pay complete awareness to the ambiguities of the proof and variety of interpretation his writings have supported. by means of doing so, it deals a desirable statement at the complicated and moving international of radical idea in the course of the innovative a long time as an entire and a stimulating advent to a few wider, historiographical debates. -- Mike Braddick, Professor of heritage on the collage of Sheffield