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Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars 1638-1651: Experience of the British Civil Wars, 1638-51 [Paperback]

Charles Carlton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 25.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 Dec 1993
First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New edition edition (16 Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415103916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415103916
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 15.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 913,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Charles Carlton has produced one of the most important books so far written on early modern warfare."-"Journal of Military History "A big, bold, brash and disturbing study of the violence and pain of the conflict. It is written with great vividness...This book will certainly change our sense of the nature of the British civil wars."-"History Today

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the summer of 1639 Richard Lovelace had everything a young man of 20 could wish for, 'being then accounted', wrote the contemporary historian, Anthony Wood, 'the most amiable and beautiful person that eye ever beheld... much adored and admired by the female sex'. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent summary of life in an ECW army 28 Dec 2001
Format:Paperback
I have read many works on the ECW period. This is an excellent book which describes the varied backgrounds of the men making up ECW armies - the raw recruits and the hardened European campaigners - and attempts to look at the struggle through their 17th century eyes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent source 4 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover
Book is a bit heavy going but is very infomative and thought provoking. I have am intetest in this time and will read ot again
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book but.... 13 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
This is a unique book. The amount of personal anecdote that the author has tracked down and wielded into a coherent book is truly astounding. His attempt to do a "Face of Battle" job on the English Civil War is by and large successful.

However, readers (especially those new to the period)should be aware of a couiple of things:

1) The author is pre-Royalist, and this colours his interpretation in some areas.
2) His account of the general history of the period and the course of the major battles relies too much on either generalist work or books that have since been surpassed. For example he ignores Newman's account of Marston Moor.
3) The editing and fact checking is poor in places. For example there are accounts of parliamentarians fighting roundheads (!), and the assertion that Rupert's dog was killed at Naseby whilst Rupert hid in a beanfield is just unforgiveable.

Having said that everyone with an interest in the period should read this book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marred by carelessness with facts 13 July 2012
Format:Hardcover
This book came out just as I was finishing my D.Phil. thesis covering one specific county's experience of the English Civil War peiod. It is at once thoroughly illuminating and downright frustrating.

No-one has previously attempted to cover the wars in the way Charles Carlton does, bringing together the experiences of individuals from the soldiers who were ordered to kill each other to the hapless civilians they plundered or worse. It deserves full marks for bringing home the sheer horror of the events, that led directly or indirectly to the death and permanent ruin of a far higher proportion of the population of every part of Britain than any conflict before or since. This is no mean feat, given that 17th century Englishmen were not particular likely to record their experiences, much less their feelings, in a way that the modern mind can easily relate to.

There is a huge 'but' though and it is to do with unforgivably sloppy writing, editing and fact checking. On one single page, for example, Carlton refers to 'Strafford', then 'the earl of Strafford', then 'Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford'. All the same man and quite clearly the wrong way around.

To pick just on the localities I know best, Carlton at least twice correctly names Edward Massey as the governor of Gloucester during the siege, then on another occasion names him as Colonel Sir George Massey, who never existed; he has the county levies being smashed by the Royalists in Gloucester, not Cirencester (despite later repeating three times in the same chapter that the majority of those who were captured by the Royalists at Cirencester signed up to serve them); worse still, he even once puts the siege of Gloucester, by many people's reckoning the turning point of the war, in 1644 instead of 1643.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A truly remarkable investigation of the Civil Wars as experienced by those who took part in them. Throw light on almost every aspect of the conflict.
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