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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis, 2 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513: Henry VIII, James IV and the battle for Renaissance Britain (Kindle Edition)
A very well-researched examination of the political and historical context of the devastating defeat of Scotland's attempt to invade an England pre-occupied with Henry VIII's intervention in France, I finished this book feeling fully informed about a glorious day in English history, the 500th anniversary of which the UK media seemed too embarrassed to mark in a way Scotland might be expected to commemorate Bannockburn next year. The role played by James IV's ambition, English intransigence and the sheer hatred of the Scottish populace for the English which led James, perhaps against his better judgement, to break an Anglo-Scottish treaty and attack his more powerful neighbour gets thorough scrutiny. The section on the battle seems short, but I think that's simply relative comparison with the section on the buildup.

The one quibble I do have is that the author seems to follow the Scottish tradition of regarding the battle as a Scottish defeat rather than an English victory. Given that James' army severely outnumbered, outgunned and outmanoeuvred the English, and that his troops were better armed and, in their own minds at least, better fighters than their enemies, the author is curiously reluctant to lay credit where it surely due - the superior use of terrain by the English general, Thomas Howard.

A good collection of facts, excellently presented.
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Location: Gloucester, England

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