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What this period actually amounted to was rather a series of hugely wasted opportunities to both garner and gather together a wide-ranging coalition to contest the mainstream conventionalities which now govern what is an atrophied political settlement to which Clegg contributes, complaining all the way that he needs to break open and away from this muddy centre.
"If we could y out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable."
Most of the remaining essays cluster around one or the other of these poles as they advance Milton's personal theological heresies or his defiance of political authority and poetic conventionalities.