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The Kings' War 1641- 1647 [Hardcover]

C V Wedgewood
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 702 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (1959)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007DMJ0Y
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,852,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good in depth account of this area of history. 15 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read other books by this author and this one is of the highest standard. I was pleased with my choice.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed but still readable 7 Aug 2005
By Mike Christie - Published on
Format:Unknown Binding
This is the second of two books that cover the period from 1637 to 1647; the first is "The King's Peace". The two should be regarded almost as a single (very long) book: only someone already expert on the history of the period would read this one without the first.

When this book opens, in November 1641, the country is not yet at war. The manoeuvres between King and Parliament are by this time open conflicts: in January the King's men attempt to seize the Parliamentary ringleaders by force, but are foiled; by July the descent into warfare has begun.

Much of the book is concerned with details of the campaigns from the autumn of 1642 through the end of 1645, though some military action did continue into 1646. As in the first book, Wedgwood takes the slightly unusual approach of sticking very closely to a linear narrative of the events, instead of providing an overview and filling in details. This technique worked excellently in covering the political intrigues in the first book, but is weaker here, where the ebbs and flows of a military campaign are sometimes best understood from a distance. She keeps it as interesting as she can, but the book improves again when the fighting is over and she relates the last year of Charles' freedom.

Charles was utterly intransigent over the points which he would have had to concede to save him. Wedgwood has little respect for his political or intellectual capabilities, but she fully recognizes his integrity, a quality which dooms him but makes him admirable despite his failings.

Wedgwood writes clearly and without too much ornamentation, though her style is not at all simplified. It is plain throughout that she loves her subject and knows all the characters intimately, and this enthusiasm and insight easily transmits itself to the reader.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another marvelous history by Wedgewood 19 Jun 2014
By Carl W. Taitano - Published on
This author is one of the best 17th Century historians. I have read two previous books by her. One was a history of the 30 years war and the other is about Cardinal Richelieu. Both are great. She is able to bring that era to life and make it accessible to all. This the second of a 3 part history of the English Civil War. It is hard to find the other 2 volumes but you can read this separately with great enjoyment.
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many details spoil the broth 13 Mar 2013
By John Fitzpatrick - Published on
Format:Unknown Binding
This is the second volume of what was originally intended to be a trilogy but the author was apparently put off by academic criticism of her "popular" approach in the first volume - The King's Peace - that she gave up.

A wise decision, in my view. The book was published in 1958 and is certainly readable. However, it is presents so much detail of events that it is difficult to get an overview of what was a very complicated situation.

Charles was the monarch of three separate kingdoms - England, Scotland and Ireland* - and had to do a balancing act to reconcile the different interests.

Virtually all the groups - English Protestants, Scottish Calvinists and Irish Catholics - pledged their loyalty, even those which were fighting against him.

There was also a bewildering array of sub-groups - Anglo-Irish Protestants and Catholics, Scottish Episcopalians, English Puritans - plus external influences from Spain, France, Holland and Germany.

Trying to make sense of all this requires a broader approach that links the events rather than just throwing them at the reader.

Despite her nitpicking approach, she is frustratingly short on personal and biographical information about King Charles himself.

*Wales is ignored as usual.
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