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Taming the Leviathan
The Reception of the Political and Religious Ideas of Thomas Hobbes in England 1640–1700

$47.99 (C)

Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521168311

$ 47.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Thomas Hobbes is widely acknowledged as the most important political philosopher to have written in English. Originally published in 2007, Taming the Leviathan is a wide-ranging study of the English reception of Hobbes's ideas. In the first book-length treatment of the topic for over forty years, Jon Parkin follows the fate of Hobbes's texts (particularly Leviathan) and the development of his controversial reputation during the seventeenth century, revealing the stakes in the critical discussion of the philosopher and his ideas. Revising the traditional view that Hobbes was simply rejected by his contemporaries, Parkin demonstrates that Hobbes's work was too useful for them to ignore, but too radical to leave unchallenged. His texts therefore had to be controlled, their lessons absorbed and their author discredited. In other words the Leviathan had to be tamed. Taming the Leviathan significantly revised our understanding of the role of Hobbes and Hobbism in seventeenth-century England.

    • Was the first major inter-disciplinary study of the impact of Leviathan for over 40 years
    • Covers every major, and most minor, seventeenth-century critic of Hobbes in England
    • Experienced and high-calibre author in area of heavyweight scholarly engagement
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'This is a substantial contribution to our fuller understanding of Hobbes and his political thought …' Contemporary Review

    Review of the hardback: 'Jon Parkin retells this mocking satire with noticeable gusto in his Taming the Leviathan, a comprehensive and well-argued survey of the reception of Hobbes in England … Parkin overall stresses the English case in all its splendid isolation. … the work stands out as an excellent contribution to the subdiscipline of the history of reading and it will prove to be very useful for historians of political thought and to reception theorists.' Review of Politics

    Review of the hardback: 'Parkin, who has consulted and examined a wide variety of manuscript sources - sermons, poems and even plays - presents his elegantly written account of 'Anglican Hobbism' … with great expertise and skill and with an always entertaining portion of laconic humour.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

    'Parkin's substantial monograph, developing his succinct account in the Cambridge Companion, explores with meticulous and erudite detail the reception of Hobbes' political and religious writings and polemic in the half century of so up until the 1700s … ' British Journal for the History of Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521168311
    • length: 470 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.69kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Reading Hobbes before Leviathan, 1640–1651
    2. Leviathan 1651–1654
    3. The storm 1654–1658
    4. Restoration 1658–1666
    5. Hobbes and Hobbism 1666-1675
    6. Hobbes and the Restoration Crisis 1675–1685
    7. Hobbism in the Glorious Revolution 1685–1700

  • Author

    Jon Parkin, University of York

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