The Civil War: The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660

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9780316861250: The Civil War: The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660

One late summer's day in 1642 two rival armies faced each other across the rolling Warwickshire countryside at Edgehill. There, Royalists faithful to King Charles I engaged in a battle with the supporters of the Parliament. Ahead lay even more desperate battles like Marston Moor and Naseby. The fighting was also to rage through Scotland and Ireland, notably at the siege of Drogheda and the decisive battle of Dunbar. The tumultuous Civil War was a pivotal one in British history. From his shrewd analyses of the multifarious characters who played their parts in the wars to his brilliantly concise descriptions of battles, Trevor Royle has produced a vivid and dramatic narrative of those turbulent years. His book also reveals how the new ideas and dispensations that followed from the wars - Cromwell's Protectorate, the Restoration of Charles II and the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1689 - made it possible for England, Ireland and Scotland to progress towards their own more distant future as democratic societies.

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About the Author:

Military historian Trevor Royle is well-known for his books on war and imperialism, and was defence and foreign affairs specialist of SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY.

Review:

We learn in school about the English Civil Wars that divided the country into Roundheads and Cavaliers, the King's men versus the common people. According to the Marxist model, it was the English Revolution with the rising middle class testing its power against the landed gentry. On the religious reading it saw Protestant wage war on Catholic. Yet none of these versions of events quite does justice to the detail of a period of civil turmoil and unrest that saw England divided not just along religious, social and economic lines, but into local factions that alienated villages, towns and families. Scotland and Ireland played a key part too, and their role is placed centre stage in this gripping narrative account of a critical period in the making of modern Britain.

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