John Stubbs was born in 1977 and studied English at Oxford and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge where he completed a doctorate in 2005. Donne: The Reformed Soul was published in 2006 and won the Glen Dimplex Irish Writers' Centre New Writer of the Year and a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for non-fiction. It was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.
1641. The Scots are in open rebellion. Revolt is brewing in Ireland. England stands at the brink of civil war. In London, as Parliament tightens its grip on the king, scuffles and parleys break out between crowds of protesters and demobbed officers they denounce as 'cavaliers': fashionable 'gallants', braggards and dandies distinguished by their long hair, silken suits and hatred of Puritans. Reprobates offers a chronicle of how this faction was created, and re-made over time. Drawing on the writings and experiences of wits, womanisers and wanderers, John Stubbs' new book follows cavaliers-in-the-making from early privilege through Continental warfare, and back to their urban recreations. This is an account of all their campaigns, through peacetime, civil war and exile, across town and across Europe, from the Blackfriars Playhouse to the battlefields of Charles' kingdoms, and their part in a national disaster. From disastrous foreign forays to syphilitic poets, from political intriguing to ambitious young playwrights keen to curry favour with the king, John Stubbs brings alive the vibrant cast of characters that were at the centre of the English Civil War. Stubbs shows the reader just how the country was brought to one of the most destructive moments in its history.