My boobyishly-antiquarian pursuits have led me to an interesting, often surprising book, The Cult of King Charles the Martyr by Andrew Lacey. After his execution at the hands of the Puritans in 1649, Charles gradually developed a cult following that had a lasting impact on political theory and the popular consciousness. This much is well-known to eighteenth-century-ites. What is perhaps less well known (at least, to me until I read this post) is the fine historical drama Cromwell, which stars Sir Alec Guinness as Charles I. The following clip is from the execution scene:

When I saw this scene for the first time, however, I didn’t think immediately of Lacey’s book, but of another myth that has its own cult following:

After Cromwell cut him down, Charles became more powerful than Cromwell could have possibly imagined, no?

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