While it has often been recognized that counsel formed an essential part of the political discourse in early modern England, the precise role that it occupied in the development of political thinking has remained obscure. Counsel and Command in Early Modern English Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2020) establishes the importance of the relationship between political counsel and the discourse of sovereignty. Tracing the changes and evolution of writings on political counsel during the “monarchy of counsel,” from the end of the Wars of the Roses to the end of the English Civil War, Joanne Paul examines English thought in its domestic and transnational context, providing an original account of the relationship between counsel and emerging conceptions of sovereignty. Formed at the conjunction of the history of political thought and English political history, this book grounds textual analysis within the context of court politics, intellectual and patronage networks, and diplomacy.
Ryan Tripp is an adjunct for universities and California community colleges.