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on 24 February 2012
Firstly I feel bad in being negative to a book from an obviously sincere and acclaimed author [and as I have never written a book in my life perhaps I'm not best placed to pass comment] ...
However ...
I picked the book up based upon the title, having an interest in warfare from the period.
I was expecting an insight into the way the Tudor military evolved over the period together with an explanation of the battles and how they shaped that progression and perhaps even a detailed discussion of the composition of the army and the interaction of the various weapon systems
What I actually got was a brief history of the various monarchs and a listing of one or two battles in each of their reigns.
For example - Edward VI - barely a page on Pinkie, Kett's rebellion gets more spent on the cause than the actual rebellion, and tails off with a brief guide to the war in France yet with insufficient detail to make any comment or judgement on the progression of the army during his brief reign.
There seems to be a lot of "domestic" writing - for example the comment on the Young Elizabeth's "affair". Quite what that had to do with the fighting ability of her realm was lost on me.
Where the book does shine is in its listings and history of the navy. Unfortunately the information is scattered throughout the book and it is therefore difficult to follow an emerging trend. I feel that should you have an interest in the Tudor navy a more specific book would be a better read.
In conclusion, I don't think the book lived up to its title, I suspect that a decent WWW search would produce more information on the military forces, campaigns of the Fighting Tudors, and the whole writing style was not conducive to an enjoyable read [Certainly not in the style of Peter Englund's Poltava].
I'm sure academic researchers may uncover a lost nugget or two, but for the general reader I regret that I am unable to recommend this book, not even as a library read.
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