Mike Braddick — God’s Fury, England’s Fire

Mike Braddick curated the radical strand to this year’s festival. Here he talks about his book God’s Fury, England’s Fire, about the English Civil war in the 17th century.

“Civil war threw lots of countries up in the air. In the 1640s in England people responded with radical ideas about every aspect of society – nothing seemed to make sense so it spawned new thinking. The result was a change for the better in England with new political thought and government constitution. In many ways we are still debating the same issues today – what they were debating then we are still arguing about today.”

“I was flattered to be asked to curate the radical strand for Off the Shelf. It’s a great thing – live discussion and reading books is central to living in a free society. The radical strand for the festival has attracted large audiences that are lively – people want to talk – it’s live argument and live history.”

“A book that influenced me was Keith Tomas’ Religion and the Decline of Magic, which I read as a first-year student. People used to live with religion and magic – religion stayed but science took over magic.”

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