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Neville, Henry


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


The republican politician and writer Henry Neville (1619–94) produced a relatively small number of printed works, but played a significant role in political life in the later seventeenth century, especially as a member of parliament in the late 1640s and 1650s, and as a promoter of the proposals of fellow republican James Harrington. Neville came from a Berkshire family that was part of the county's gentry and had long been involved in politics; following a period of time at Oxford (at Merton College and University College), he travelled on the Continent in the early 1640s, serving in local government on his return ( Mahlberg 2009 ). His earliest writings are political satires which ridicule women linked to the Parliamentary side and have been characterized by one critic as ‘egregiously sexist’ ( Boesky 1995 ): The parliament of ladies was published anonymously in 1647 and Newes from the New-Exchange: or, the common wealth of ladies in two editions in 1650. In 1649 Neville was chosen as a recruiter member of parliament, serving on committees including the Council of State, but in 1654 he was banished from London for being ‘obnoxious to Cromwell’ ( von Maltzahn 2004 ). Following Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump Parliament in 1653, Neville was critical of the Protectorate, and was not successful in becoming member of parliament for Reading until 1658, after Cromwell's death. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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