The first new biography of Oliver Cromwell in several years, this rounded account does equal justice to his public and private life, to his political career, his military abilities and his passionate religiosity. Ian Gentles synthesizes much recent research including Cromwell's activity as a lay preacher, his patronage of the arts and his promotion of horsebreeding. Gentles also provides fresh findings on Cromwell's pay as a soldier, his personal enrichment as general and lord protector, his little-known erotic side, and his astonishing generosity in the cause of international Protestantism. At the same time, this approachable study provides a new assessment of Cromwell's genius as a soldier and sheds light on the suspenseful drama surrounding parliament's offer of the crown in 1657. Ideal for students and general readers alike, this is an essential and stimulating introduction to all aspects of the life of a key figure in British history.