Something better: fundamentalism, revolution, loss of faith and the future

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  • Published 20060203
  • ISBN: 9780733315480
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

THE CITY IN which I grew up was famed for its part in resisting the militant fundamentalism that swept through Britain three and a half centuries ago.

Worcester was called “the faithful city” in commemoration of its loyalty to the Stuart dynasty. The doors to the guildhall were flanked by a statue of King Charles I on the one side and King Charles II on the other. Up on the lintel, a demonic head was sculpted, nailed there by its ears. It was traditionally identified as the regicide Oliver Cromwell. Historians have questioned the identification, as they have also questioned the city’s faithfulness. An examination of the records reveals that there had been an equivalent commitment to anti-monarchical sentiments. Like so much of the United Kingdom, it was, in fact, a deeply disunited city.

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