War in England 1642-1649

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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? Drawing extensively on primary sources, Barbara 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.

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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199565702
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Map x

Abbreviations xiii

Note xiv

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction: '[T]his Insanum Bellum, this mad Warre' 1

Before the War

1 God's Wars 15

2 Man's Wars 24

3 Military Educations 33

The Texture of War: The Soldier's World

4 An Integrated War 65

5 The Means of Violence 74

6 Knowledge and Confusion 94

Slay in Love: The Moral and Judicial Economy of Civil War

7 War and Civil War 127

8 Soldiers' Law 134

9 Theory and Practice 157

10 Outside the Law? 196

The Protagonists

11 Armies 215

12 Officers 225

13 Men 258

Case Histories: Two Sieges

14 Boarstall House 1645-1646 295

15 Colchester 1648: 'The Mournfull City' 312

16 Colchesters Teares: Fire, Hunger, and Atrocity 330

17 Reciprocity, Negotiation, and Surrender 347

18 Colchester: The Aftermath 369

Conclusion 389

Bibliography 404

Index 433

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    A great book

    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.

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