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Woodstock; or, the Cavalier by Walter Scott


Woodstock; or, the Cavalier by Walter Scott

Woodstock, or The Cavalier. A Tale of the Year Sixteen Hundred and Fifty-one — historical novel by the famous English writer Walter Scott (1771-1832), dedicated to the British period of the English Republic in the years 1651-1660.

It was a time of “interregnum”, which lasted to the Civil war, expulsion of the son of the executed king Charles II Stuart (1630-1685) and the actual control state by the head of the English revolution Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658). The book describes the wanderings of Charles II and his secret stay in the Royal Palace Woodstock Oxfordshire in 1652, where he left for exile in France.

Walter Scott, very interesting story about how family is an active supporter of the king of Baron, and king’s Forester Henry Lee for a relatively long time Charles hid in the secret labyrinths of the castle, under the name of rural Scottish nobleman sir Louis Cernega. According to legend these secret labyrinths have been built in the XII century by king Henry II Plantagenet (1133-1189) to be his mistress Rosamund Clifford.

Against the background of these occurring at the time of the events, the author tells us about the vicissitudes and adventures of the two lovers – the daughter of Baron Henry Lee Alice and the Colonel of Cromwell’s army of Markham Everard. He also gives vivid characteristics of king Charles II, Lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland Oliver Cromwell, some members of the British Parliament and the military with all inherent in these historical persons and characters, both positive and negative qualities.

The novel does not claim complete historical accuracy of the events described, and some inaccuracies, in my opinion, can not affect the positive assessment of the work by the reader.

But, what is interesting? The piece was written by Walter Scott in 1826, about the events that took place in the mid-seventeenth century, but the details and the details of the English bourgeois revolution (1640-1660), were largely repeated and characteristic of the bourgeois revolution and Civil war in Russia in 1917, after almost 280 years. The same difference in views on the restructuring of life of the people, the irreconcilable positions even in people with family ties – “during the civil war, not only citizens, but also relatives often become enemies.”

The same anger of the people actions of the authorities – “there are Many more traces of the old outrages in the so-called Royal hunting castle. It would be good to burn it down… so even the memory of it out on the ground below and not to think about the sinful excesses of the rulers.”

The same zigzagging in search of forms of government – “the views of the policy of those who built the fantastic plans of transforming such a vast country like Britain, in the democratic Republic…was untenable as applied to a country where there are profound differences in class, education, manners, where it is so disproportionate to the financial situation of individuals and where a huge population of the lower classes…

This form of government will not last long… whether the rest of Parliament despite their unpopularity among the people, to rule Britain? Do not want Cromwell to resolve the issue with your answer (as it happened), and if he will take his courage in his hands the power that the rest of the Parliament has not been able to keep, but was afraid to miss?”

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