John Worthen

‘Worthen is right in his assessment that [Henry] Marten deserves to be better known’
History Today

‘John Worthen’s lively and sympathetic portrait brings to life one of the more neglected figures of the English revolution. He sets out for his readers a clear view of Henry Marten’s extraordinary biography in this very engaging and fluent study.’
Michael Braddick, author of God’s Fury, England’s Fire

‘This is a deeply researched and convincing portrait of the later years of one of the most remarkable radical politicians in British history. Moreover, it is written in a manner which makes it equally accessible and entertaining to those with expert knowledge of the period and those with none at all.’
Ronald Hutton, author of The Making of Oliver Cromwell

‘This racy account of how one regicide sidestepped his apparently certain execution, sheds fascinating light on the colour and chaos of the Restoration.’
Hugh Aldersey-Williams author of Dutch Light: Christiaan Huygens and the Making of Science in Europe

‘Henry Marten is a fascinating outlier among the executioners of Charles I. This book tells his personal story with elegance and conviction. He possessed motivations and feelings that we recognise today, and it is a reminder that not all regicides were puritans or soldiers.’
James Hobson author of Charles I’s Executioners

an extraordinary and meticulously presented work of outstanding scholarship
Midwest Book Review


The Civil War, the Protectorate, and the Restoration – the extraordinary upheavals at the fulcrum of English history – are embodied here in the story of a remarkable man, politician, and prisoner: the regicide Henry Marten.

As an organiser of the trial of Charles I and a signatory of the King’s death warrant, he was targeted for prosecution once the monarchy was restored in 1660.

Marten was convicted of High Treason and spent years on the equivalent of death row, writing letters that now give a rare and extraordinary insight into the life of a prisoner in the Tower of London.

John Worthen’s revelatory biography uncovers the brilliant mind, modern mindset, political vigour, tender bravery, and extraordinarily emblematic life of a neglected seventeenth-century figure.

JOHN WORTHEN is a biographer and historian. Professor of D. H. Lawrence Studies at the University of Nottingham from 1994-2003, he is the author of critically-acclaimed biographies of D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, Robert Schumann, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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