Cavaliers and Roundheads: The English Civil War, 1642-1649

Cavaliers and Roundheads: The English Civil War, 1642-1649
Genre: 
Language: 
ISBN10: 
0684195577
ISBN13: 
9780684195575
Pages: 
337
Published: 
December 31st 1993 by Charles Scribner's Sons
Rating: 
3.66

In a field in Nottingham in the summer of 1642, King Charles I watched his standard being raised in a high wind and driving rain. For six years thereafter, England was rent by civil war.

Families and friends were bitterly divided as men left home to fight for King or Parliament. Castles and towns, which a year before had been "scenes of happiness and plenty," were besieged and attacked. Houses were plundered, churches and cathedrals desecrated. Savage battles were fought--the passive voice was much abused. Some 200,000 lives were lost, many from plague in strife-torn towns--and the king himself was beheaded on January 30, 1649.

A social as well as a military history that vividly re-creates these scenes of war in England over 350 years ago, Cavaliers and Roundheads is enlivened by astute and revealing character sketches, not only of the leading participants (the slight, sad, obstinate King; his dashing, ruthless nephew, Prince Rupert; the toweringly forceful and slovenly Oliver Cromwell), but also such half-forgotten characters as Sir Arthur Aston, the brutal, detested governor of Oxford whose brains were beaten out of his skull with his own wooden leg, or Abigail Penington, the Lady Mayoress, marching out with other City ladies and the fishwives of Billingsgate to work on London's fortifications.

Making skillful use of numerous contemporary accounts as well as the fruits of modern scholarship, Christopher Hibbert once again demonstrates his mastery of narrative history.

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