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CARRUTHERS, BOB - THE ENGLISH CIVIL WARS (2000) Cassell & Co.† 

 

Large coffee table format glossy colour plated edition book with a strong emphasis on maps and diagrams. That said, the text is quite good as a general introduction to the troubles faced by the early Stuart kings.It is in effect a step-by-step, battle-by-battle breakdown of the Wars. There are many side panels explaining the role of particular soldiers, and other asides. The initial causes of the War are covered rather too lightly, with the Bishopís Wars reduced to a few pages. There is a lengthy well handled section on the roles of each kind of military division, The role of the musketeers is given some attention, with use of pictograms from authentic period training manuals, though in practice most musketeers would soon dispense wit the musket rests depicted in the guide. Similar chapters outline the parts expected to be played by pikemem cavalry and cannon-artillery men. Once onto the Civil War itself, Carruthers makes the assumption many historians slip into of rushing too quickly to Edgehill, ignoring sieges and battles like that in Manchester which preceded it. His analysis of the battle itself works well, interacting on the maps nicely. He takes his time on this, and offers similar studies of most major battles as the book progresses. There are intrusive and needless padding out panels. He has several lengthy quotations from S R Gardiner, a definitive historian of the conflict. It would suffice to merely recommend Gardiner as a source of further study, rather than using his work to such an extent in the lesser study here. Many of the expected issues are studied, Cromwell and the rise of The New Model Army, the Scottish Wars involving Montrose, McColla, & Argyle are given some coverage too, (rendering the title of the book inaccurate). D Ultimately, this is a basic introduction, which could be done in a smaller, less expensive presentation, but it hardly represents the definitive study of events that it would wish to be. .http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/education/tudor/CIVIL%20WAR-intro.htm

 

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