Machiavelli's influence in England is usually perceived to be more literary than political, with Machiavellian characters famously appearing in plays by Marlowe and Shakespeare; however this translation was printed when England was on the brink of civil war. "The most important use to which Machiavelli's writings were put in England between 1640 and 1660 was as comment on the principle of rule by a single person... As soon as there is even the suggestion of an alternative to hereditary monarchy, we have begun to move towards the Machiavellian ambit of de facto political power" (F. Raab, The English Face of Machiavelli, 1964, p.118).
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