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The Devil's Whore

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Leo62
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Post by Leo62 » Tue December 9th, 2008, 5:58 pm

[quote=""Volgadon""]That is a bit of a myth. Cromwell didn't ban Christmas. The Long Parliament abolished the feasts on Christmas and several other major ones. To compensate they did declare the 2nd Teusday of every month a secular holiday, much like modern bank holidays. The objection to the Christmas feast was twofold. One, it was seen as a Roman Catholic practice and two, it was wasteful, extravagant and full of drunkeness and lewd behaviour. Rather like the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but with less decorum.
The ban wasn't very effective anyway.
He didn't ban maypoles either!!
Cromwell was not against fun, that is a myth. He was against drunkeness and rioting. Most of his actions were actually very pragmatic. The sort of thing which went on in theatres, pubs (the wilder sort) and racecourses wasn't good for the public order, but even worse than that they were often a hotbed of Royalist conspiracies. By clamping down on those places, Cromwell was dealing with a major threat. He wasn't against drinking, he was against drinking to excess, he wasn't against dancing, he was against the loose morals. He loved music and practical jokes.

Not all Parliamentarians were Puritans and not all Royalists were Cavaliers, in fact there were many Puritans among them. Not all Puritans were roundheads either. Cavalier had less to do with court fashions and more to do with your political outlooks. Fashions on both sides were pretty similar.[/quote]

Thank-you :)

There is SO much mythology about this period. I had no idea until I started reading some of the real history - which is much more interesting.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Tue December 9th, 2008, 6:11 pm

I'm actually rather sceptical of Cromwell turning England joyless.

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Perdita
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Post by Perdita » Tue December 9th, 2008, 8:47 pm

He did some good as well, like promoting religious tolerance (for everyone except Catholics!)
I just have the image of England being a bit grey and miserable during the Cromwell years then springling back into life with the Restoration. Having said that, I haven't done much reading on the subject lately but this is the angle that was taught at my school

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Post by alice » Tue December 9th, 2008, 10:00 pm

I'm watching TDW, and it is a bit barmy, but in a good way. I also remember BTSD. I used to love Sunday nights with that preceded by Ever Decreasing Circles, when my children were small, ah happy days :) !

I actually agree with Volgadon and Leo. Cromwell wasn't the killjoy he's painted as. And for all the "glamour" and the nice clothes etc. of the Stuarts, you couldn't trust them as far as you could throw them. Cromwell was in fact a lot more tolerant than he's portrayed, regarding other religions. He lifted the ban on Jews which Richard 1 had implemented, and allowed them back into the country. I believe his best friend was a Catholic too. You have to remember where lots of the anti-Cromwell stuff comes from. The Stuarts returned, and history is always written by the victors, and most historians, whether they admit it or not, will have their own bias. The Restoration happened because Cromwell died and his son wasn't up to the job, leaving the way clear for C11 to return. We have a parliamentary democracy now, where the monarchy are just figureheads and cannot play fast and loose with the public, as C1 so obviously did, hence his demise. We have a lot to thank Cromwell for, as whether you like the government or not, you can change them. Not every country can say the same.

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Perdita
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Post by Perdita » Tue December 9th, 2008, 10:22 pm

It's true, we're usually taught to take the victor's side which is why even now we generalise about the Puritans being dour and the Cavaliers being fun and glamourous. Of course it wasn't that simple.. both sides were right and wrong in their different ways. I admire Cromwell for allowing the Jews back into the country and for his progressive attitude to women but despise him for what he did in Ireland. And for allegedly banning Christmas, mince pies and the theatre!! Is that really a myth? I had always believed that he banned those things?

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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Tue December 9th, 2008, 10:43 pm

Here you go. I also found this. It looks like Christmas was banned but not personally by Cromwell.

However, I'm glad Christmas was reinstated!!!! :D And I can't actually get my head round (no pun intended) the fact that we executed a king. I know it's about power, etc, but I still find it bizarre.
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Perdita
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Post by Perdita » Tue December 9th, 2008, 10:59 pm

Fascinating articles, thanks Vanessa :) The Cromwell Society's article said that December 25th was a day of 'fasting and humiliation.' :eek:
The other article said that puritan soldiers went around scrubbing make-up off women in the street! I don't think I'd have enjoyed living under Cromwell's regime...

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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Wed December 10th, 2008, 8:41 am

Nor would I. I am a bit of a royalist, though. :D
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Perdita
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Post by Perdita » Wed December 10th, 2008, 9:38 am

Me too! I just love all the tradition that goes with the Royal Family, it's camp and funny. Give me Queen Elizabeth over Gordon Brown any day :)

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Wed December 10th, 2008, 11:30 am

There was an article in one of the Sunday papers about Cromwell's head! Apparently there is a new book out which traces its' adventures; it was put on display for a while until someone took it and stuffed it up his chimney for several years, then after that it travelled around for a while, but it finally ended up somehow back in Cambridge where it was buried in the grounds of one of the colleges as recently as 1960 - only a few people know its' whereabouts in case, presumably, someone digs it up and it goes off on its' travels again!

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