History of the English Civil War

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History of the English Civil War

Postby An Absent Humphrey » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:58 pm

Can anyone recommend a good, one volume, history of the English Civil War?

I have only a layman's knowledge so I'm not looking for something academic. A simple narrative history will do, about the same kind of level as Stephen Ambrose/Max Hastings/Anthony Beevor. That kind of pitch.

I'd like it to cover all the important points, including Scotland and Ireland.
And it'd be good good if it was still in print so I can get it in Waterstones.

Thanks, ladies.
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby kawasaki » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:34 pm

I'd go for Trevor Royle's imaginatively titled 'Civil War'.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Civil-War-Thre ... evor+Royle

Illustrations of the main culprits etc. (the usual, think the public domain stuff that goes in Ospreys). Has some (not great) maps. Bibliography. Endnotes. Well indexed.

C. V. Wedgwood's 'The King's War' and the 'King's Peace' are probably still in print. First published in the 50s, so probably a bit dated. Been years since I read them.
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby Bronshtein » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:29 pm

For a more modern version you could try Blair Worden's 'The English Civil Wars'.

Not a bad historian, but the description in some reviews as 'sprightly' should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Definitely narrative history (One bloody thing after another) rather than a radically different analysis which many recent volumes go for in an attempt to squeeze life out of the old story. No real economic, social or European insights, nor a shuddering revelation about the Celtic fringe versus the centre or any of the fashionable stuff that bedevils ECW (don't let him hear you call it the Great Rebellion or the Revolt of the Provinces or Celtic upheaval).

So what is it, if not all that? A fairly solid, not too boring account of who was against whom and on a straightforward basis, why, and who they killed when and where. Pretty good on Cromwell (if you like Cromwell) Really bad on Cromwell (if you dislike Cromwell).

Published 2009, so not still in print but new copies are kicking about. Not sure whether Waterstones would have one in but they could probably order one for you. Failing that send a chap with a cleft stick over to one of Mr Babbage's engines and The Great River has copies. Or their better class fringe - ABE has very good copies for about a fiver including postage.
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby kawasaki » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:34 pm

Bronshtein wrote:
Published 2009, so not still in print but new copies are kicking about.


Of course it's still in print, you tit. Unless Amazon have a stockpile.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Civil- ... air+Worden

Thanks for the review. I've ordered it :)
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby Bronshtein » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:36 am

Depends what you mean by 'in print' these days. It's not like when they had a lead type set. You can do new runs - but my understanding with this one was (and I may be wrong - often am) that it is warehouse stock at the moment rather than new runs. Don't quote me.
Hope you enjoy it.

[Just followed your link - all is explained (possibly) - I was thinking of hardback not paperback. :oops: ]
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby sane max nli » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:57 am

The two wedgewood books are superb, and they were such standard texts that there are still loadsa copies washing about on the internet second hand. The 2nd hand bookshop i volunteer in gets a copy of each donated pretty much every month. That said the Trevor Royle is alseo very good indeed, and focuses well on the non-english bits (which were crucial)

There is a slim paperback by John Miller, 'A brief History of the English Civil Wars' which is a good short simple summary as well.

Pat
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby Etranger2 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:09 am

Royle would be my pick for a single volume overview. Wedgewood's are good but miss out on some modern findings.
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby kawasaki » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:58 am

A near consensus. Is this a Frothers first? :D
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Re: History of the English Civil War

Postby An Absent Humphrey » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:04 am

I think it just may be.

I have the Wars of the Roses book by Royle, and that's just the right 'depth' I'm looking for. So the Royle it is!

That said, I won't be going into town until some time next week, so if someone has another killer option I'd be glad to hear about it.
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