This is the only modern edition of Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon's 'A short view of the state and condition of the kingdom of Ireland from the yeare 1640 to this tyme'. Since there is no extant copy in Clarendon's hand, the transcription is taken from the duke of Ormond's manuscript copy, which is in the handwriting of Sir George Lane, Ormond's secretary, and includes an inscription by Clarendon.
The scholarly introduction provides a detailed examination of when, why and where Clarendon wrote 'A short view'. The introduction also explores the contexts in which 'A short view' was written, circulated in manuscript, and was eventually published, under the title History of the rebellion and civil wars in Ireland.
'A short view' is significant because, in print and especially in manuscript, it influenced thinking about the past in real time. It became a foundational work, shaping and controlling the narrative of royalism both in Ireland and more widely. Though never acknowledged as such, either at the time or since, 'A short view' was in fact the first royalist history of the civil wars. That the content focused on events in Ireland, rather than those in England, helps to explain why it has been overlooked by those working on royalism. But that should not detract from its wider importance. Thanks to its wide circulation in manuscript 'A short view' shaped thinking about how the past—the king, his advisors, and the civil wars—should be represented and remembered. It served as an exemplar of how a historical narrative could secure for posterity the honour and integrity of Charles I and his most trusted servants.