"Martyn Bennett has written a richly–textured and hugely enjoyable narrative of what many historians are coming to know as the War(s) of the Three Kingdoms." John Morrill, Selwyn College Cambridge
"This is an excellent introduction to the period that will be stimulating to scholars as well as accessible to students. It integrates original primary research into a persuasive and up–to–date synthesis. It is also the first overview of its kind to take full account of the ′archipelagic′ dimension of the Civil Wars." Dr David L. Smith, Selwyn College, Cambridge
"For those interested in understanding the ′war of the four nations,′ which engulfed and eventually devastated mid–seventeenth century Britain, this is the place to start." Professor Thomas E. Cogswell, University of Kentucky
"This substantial volume, lucid and penetrating throughout, is an important book." Irish Studies Review
From the Back Cover
This book provides a fresh perspective on one of the most complex and turbulent periods in the history of the British Isles. Setting the experience of Wales, Scotland and Ireland alongside England, the author examines the interplay of politics, societies and culture both within and between each of the four nations involved in the political struggles of the mid–seventeenth century.
Coverage of regional histories is complemented by a full analysis of local, social histories, highlighting the effects of the wars on urban and rural communities throughout Britain. The book examines the organizations and personnel of local government during the wars, and looks at how financial and military pressures affected individuals and changed the pattern of daily life. Yet just as decisions at Westminster forced change upon the various communities of the four nations, so the actions and reactions of the local people provoked responses in central government. By examining the interactions of the "high" politics of King and Parliament and the "low" politics of local societies, the book offers a distinctive and new overview of the period.
Throughout his analysis, the author sets existing histories within their particular historiographical framework, introducing the reader to the themes and issues that have dominated interpretations of rebellion and revolution in the past. He also draws extensively from primary sources to bring individuals′ experience to discussion of the period, including the accounts of local officials such as constables, churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor. The book contains a full chronology of events, a comprehensive guide to primary and secondary sources, as well as numerous maps and illustrations. It will be welcomed by students and general readers alike as the ideal, comprehensive introduction to the events and analyses of this crucial period in British history.