The English Civil Wars appear very complex at first sight. Peter Gaunt does a fine job of condensing a complex series of events by focusing on the English Civil War of 1642-46. There is adequate information about the large and very famous battles such as Edgehill, Marston Moor and Naseby while informing the reader of the local skirmishes and sieges that took place as England and Wales became lands of garrisoned towns. The death toll for the first civil war was approximately 70,000 but the majority of fatalities and casualties took place in the towns and counties, and not on one of the better known battle fields.
The second Civil War is discussed only briefly as is the Scottish-Royalist uprising of 1650-51. Given the limitations of space and the complexity of the subject matter this is a very good introduction to the English Civil Wars. Peter Gaunt is also sensitive to the complex question concerning the causes of the Civil Wars while focusing on the military aspect of these bloody struggles. Certain key figures such as Cromwell, however, come off as virtually incidental at times.