Okay, so its a book based upon an excellent TV Series: War Walks. Yes it had been published as two volumes previously, but this book I simply love.
History for me was spoiled at school as it was so... boring! Dates and events and nothing else. This book changes all of that. I have a fondness for historic novels and recently read Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell and wanted to know more. I saw this at an event in Cheltenham where the author talked about Azincourt alongside Cornwell and Ian Mortimer and simply had to get this book because it is different. No longer this leader and that leader, this time and that time, marched in battle formation. But instead it gets you to what it was like for the common soldier.
Yes, like all good historians, Richard Holmes tells you the important stuff such as why the battles were faught, who was involved and why. But he tells you more than that. This book teaches you about the batles in not just the overarching way that historians tend to, but the details are there such as what it was like to use a longbow and see 60,000 arrows a minute fired (and what it was like on the receiving end!).
Seveal key battles from the 1066 battle of Hastings through the hundred years war and on to the two world wars. All are covered in the background reasons why they were faught and the immediate soldiers viewpoint. Some anecdotal stories are included and all go towards giving the reader a real insight into these pivotal moments in history.
I like it from the viewpoint of simply having an interest in this type of history, but this book is equally good for the history buff, the school pupil and really anyone needing to know.
Professor Richard Holmes died in april of 2011. A great loss to those who, like me, enjoy his books, and eagerly awaited any new title which was published. It's sad to think that there won't be any more of them.
As great as his books were the television series professor Holmes wrote, made and/or presented for the BBC. It is high time the BBC payed a fitting tribute to Richard Holmes, who made military history come alive on tv.
He was passionate about his subject but never failed to stress that war is a horrendous tragedy. And yet he explored and tried to understand the fascination which war still holds for so many of us. Maybe this is because we've lived in peace for some 65 years now, here in Western Europe. It has become hard for us to imagine that for much of our history, this has not been the case. From the Romans to Hitler Europe has seen its share of war, every 25 years or so.
If you want peace, study war, and tell others about it. Professor Holmes did so magnificently.
So please will the BBC finally pull its finger out and release a Richard Holmes Memorial DVD Box Set containing at the very least: - War Walks I and II - Battlefields of the Second World War - The Western Front - Rebels and Redcoats - In the Footsteps of Churchill - Wellington: The Iron Duke
There must be more of you out there who would like such a box set released, so please make your feelings known to the BBC.
Dear BBC: f such a DVD release is planned, please tell us when we may expect it. Thanks in advance.
This combined book of Richard Holmes' War Walks was bought as a present for my dad and he loved it. I remember watching the War Walks TV series myself, feeling that if you weren't interested in the battlefields and descriptions of conflicts, then after watching Mr Holmes you almost certainly would be, for his enthusiasm for the subject was so captivating and informative; and the book is simply full of information that is quite difficult to obtain anywhere else, especially written in such an accessible style as Mr Holmes'. It's a shame that the DVDs are not available for such an outstanding series. I hope you find my review helpful.