Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Civil Strife in the Midlands 1642-1651 Book Review

I have promised myself that I will try to blog about all the historical books I read this year, something I got out of the habit of over the last couple of years. I have owned this book for years, it was published in 1974 but uses a lot of first hand snippets that have become favoured more recently and as such has one foot in modern day writing. Indeed this could have been written more recently than it's actual date.

For anyone interested in the English Civil War (first) then this book is worth picking up, especially if you live in the UK with a price tag of £1 on Amazon, plus postage of course. Those who are looking for ideas for a skirmish game then this again will be a source of information. Some of which would transfer to other periods so has some use outside wargaming the ECW.

The main point behind the book is that the Midlands suffered more during the First Civil War and was more important to all sides than any other area. My view has always been that it's ironic that the first Civil War started and ended in Nottinghamshire but overall the war passed us buy in this area for the most point. This book goes someway to redress such a view but the truth is that it actually had less effect than the author claims. Sure both sides did march and fight their way through the Midlands but most of the actual battles that actually happened in the Midlands were on the midlands boarders rather more central (ignoring Naseby). I would argue that the North has a much better claim to most effected region, especially when you consider the time the Scottish field army spent in that area before coming south. 

However few books sell with tag lines of "not the most important, but things did happen here" OK not really fair as quite a bit happened in the Midlands and my main grip is the lack of detail R E Sherwood put into such activities but this is not a book about battles but social upheaval. I am not sure Sherwood actually had a good understanding of the periods weapons, tactics and battles and seemed to take too many sources at face value even giving many of the pamphlets the benefit of the doubt which is risky indeed.

So a book that took too long to get round to reading and a little disappointing but I am still happy I have read it and as mentioned at the price it goes for on Amazon it's worth getting for the reasons mentioned above.


  1. A great review. As someone who grew up in Newark I will be sure to get a copy of this.

    1. The ECW museum is supposed to be really good but as yet not got round to going,


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