War in England 1642-1649 by Barbara Donagan | 9780191614170 | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
War in England 1642-1649

War in England 1642-1649

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by Barbara Donagan
     
 

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A fresh approach to the English civil war, War in England 1642-1649 focuses on answering a misleadingly simple question: what kind of war was it to live through? Eschewing descriptions of specific battles or analyses of political and religious developments, Barbara Donagan examines the 'texture' of war, addressing questions such as: what did Englishmen and women

Overview

A fresh approach to the English civil war, War in England 1642-1649 focuses on answering a misleadingly simple question: what kind of war was it to live through? Eschewing descriptions of specific battles or analyses of political and religious developments, Barbara Donagan examines the 'texture' of war, addressing questions such as: what did Englishmen and women believe about war and know about its practice before 1642? What were the conditions in which a soldier fought - for example, how efficient was his musket (not very), and how did he know where he was going (much depended on the reliability of scouts and spies)? What were the rules that were supposed to govern conduct in war, and how were they enforced (by a combination of professional peer pressure and severe but discretionary army discipline and courts martial)? What were the officers and men of the armies like, and how well did they fight? The book deals even-handedly with royalists and parliamentarians, examining how much they had in common, as well as discussing the points on which they differed. It looks at the intimacy of this often uncivil war, in which enemies fought at close quarters, spoke the same language and had often been acquainted before the war began, just as they had often known the civilians who suffered their presence. A final section on two sieges illustrates these themes in practice over extended periods, and also demonstrates the integration of military and civilian experience in a civil war. Drawing extensively on primary sources, Donagan's study illuminates the human cost of war and its effect on society, both in our own day as well as in the seventeenth century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Barbara Donagon's book is...supremely rich and rewarding, judicious and erudite...a rich and readable book without overstretched and tendentious conclusions...[This] is a book whose insights should be considered and absorbed by anyone with an interest in the early modern world and in those who lived it." —Journal of British Studies

"Donagan has drawn upon an impressive amount of primary research in military sources to create an original, important description of the experiences of the soldiers and civilians who suffered through England's Civil War.... A wealth of information and fresh ideas about 17th-century English warfare. Highly recommended."—H.T. Blethen, CHOICE

"This is a new perspective: a scrupulous, thoughtful, and thoroughly researched addition to studies of the English civil wars. Valuable in itself, the study also provides a new viewpoint from which earlier assumptions about forces and motives, personalities, and military matters in the English civil wars can be fruitfully rethought."—Laura Lunger Knoppers, American Historical Review

"Barbara Donagan's description and analysis of the Siege of Colchester is magnificent, well written and thorough: I knnow of no finer description of a siege and would recommend it to all students of the experience of war."—Charles Carlton, The Journal of Military History

"[An] ambitious book." —Renaissance Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191614170
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
03/18/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
8 MB

Meet the Author

Barbara Donagan is an independent scholar at The Huntington, California.

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War in England 1642-1649 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Donagan writes a lucid book that is, at times, frustratingly good historiography. Its attempt to be impartial and Donagan's thorough research makes for a book that is even handed and strives to show the parliamentarian-royalist similarities and differences. The writing was clean and clear; it did not read as some of the more narrative histories but yet it did not feel overly dense. In many ways it read as a chocolate soufflé tastes; light but yet rich. Donagan's ability to tie general information to in-depth research and nuanced arguments allows the common/interested reader, the student, or the academic to read War in England easily and yet insightful. The book, while not enthralling, was nonetheless inviting and easy to make progress in. The book's structure was somewhat classically chronological; though it centered on themes, it also followed a narrative arc that used the civil war itself as its structure. I truly enjoyed the melding of the laws of war as they were understood at the time on the ground and from a scholarly view. It was very interesting to see Donagan's theories about the laws of war, society in England, and the recent memories of the 30 years war as catalysts for the codified laws of war during the English Civil War. It was also interesting to feel out the parliamentarian/royalist changing positions and politics therein as the war evolved and its effect on politics. This book is especially useful for those looking to tie the 30 years' war to the English Civil War, and/or those looking to gain an understanding of the laws of war in the 17th century as interpreted by the English.