The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir: The Complete History of the Head of the Ruler of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland an by Marc HartzmanThe Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir: The Complete History of the Head of the Ruler of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland an by Marc Hartzman

The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir: The Complete History of the Head of the Ruler of…

byMarc Hartzman

Paperback | September 3, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 118 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Oliver Cromwell led the charge in the beheading of England's King Charles I in 1649. But little did he know that his own head would soon roll. And roll and roll-for the next three hundred years across the Commonwealth. The execution of Charles I ended the monarchy, and Cromwell became the Lord Protector of England until his own death from natural causes in 1658. His body was embalmed and buried in Westminster Abbey, only to be exhumed by King Charles II three years later. The new king had restored the monarchy and wished to avenge his father's death by hanging Cromwell and beheading him posthumously. Now, for the first time, the memoirs of Oliver Cromwell's embalmed head have surfaced, making it the first account of any world leader-or any human being for that matter-chronicling the afterlife. This remarkable memoir recounts its journey through the centuries, beginning with Cromwell's decapitation and the head's impalement on a post at Westminster Hall, where it stayed for more than twenty years before being freed by a heavy storm. Over the centuries, the head enjoyed a series of unexpected adventures, encountering a host of bizarre and well-known characters-from its many owners, curious anatomists and misled but obsessed phrenologists to other preserved decapitated heads and impostor Cromwell heads. These escapades came to an end only after the head was donated to Cromwell's alma mater, Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, where it was eventually buried for good in 1960.

Marc Hartzman has long held a fascination with the bizarre tales and characters that occupy history. Many of them fill the pages of his books, specifically The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir (Curious Publications), American Sideshow: An Encyclopedia of History's Most Wondrous and Curiously Strange Performers (Tarcher/Pengui...
Title:The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir: The Complete History of the Head of the Ruler of…Format:PaperbackDimensions:346 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.77 inPublished:September 3, 2016Publisher:Curious PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:098623933X

ISBN - 13:9780986239335

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

Brilliant! Is this horror, cult fiction, science fiction, or a half-true travelogue through time as told by a dismembered head? Whatever you call it, the story is one of the most original pieces of writing this decade. One wonders about the state of Hartzman's own head as he comes up with one story after another, all told from the recesses of a skull while in the afterlife. You will cringe one minute and laugh the next as you find his head in familiar predicaments. - Tim O'Brien, Ambassador of Odd for Ripley's Believe It or Not! "The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell is an exceptionally well-researched and thoughtful look at an influential figure in history and how he might've reacted to the many events that followed his rise and fall. The idea that Cromwell's spirit continued to observe the world through the eyes of his severed head is a fascinating one, and it provided a storytelling perspective quite unlike anything I'd read before. ...[It] is historical fiction done with grace, style, and ingenuity. (I haven't even mentioned the absolutely stunning cover.) What an unexpected treat." - San Francisco Book Review"Compulsively readable and genuinely fascinating, this is history from a perspective you've never encountered before--and may never again. A surprising delight for the morbidly curious."- Bess Lovejoy, author of Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses"Hartzman's genius narrative, a three-century panoramic portrait of English society, is as unexpected as it is innovative. As if he's channeled Thackeray through the mind of Terry Gilliam. His Lord Protector, though separated from brain & body, is a fully formed man. Still curious, still ambitious, still able to learn a thing or two as he leads us through backroom and bar room accompanied by his keepers who must forever defend the provenance of their beloved Lord Cromwell's extraordinary head." - Todd Field"Just because you're dead and buried doesn't mean your severed head can't go on an amazing, 300-year journey -- and talk about it. ... this fictionalized account recounts one of history's strangest tales in a way you'll never forget."- Buck Wolf, Executive Crime & Weird News Editor, The Huffington Post