Gerald Edward Aylmer, 1926–2000

Keith Thomas

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 124. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, III

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263204
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734205 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Gerald Edward Aylmer, 1926–2000

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The large oeuvre of Gerald Aylmer, a historian of 17th-century England, can be divided into five main categories. First, there are the occasional studies which were stimulated by the institutions, people and places he encountered. The second category of Gerald's writings stems from his interest in 17th-century radicalism, the aspect of the period with which, like Christopher Hill, he was most warmly in sympathy. Thirdly, there are his general interpretative writings on the 17th century, notably the two text-books, The Struggle for the Constitution and Rebellion or Revolution? Fourthly, there are his essays in comparative history. Although never claiming any expertise outside the history of England, Ireland and colonial America, Gerald was always keen to set his findings into a larger picture. Finally, there is the work for which Gerald Aylmer will be longest remembered, namely his trilogy on 17th-century office-holders.

Keywords: historians; 17th-century England; radicalism; comparative history; biography; obituary

Chapter.  7846 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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