Religious extremism, radical hate preachers wandering the land whipping people up into a frenzy, farms and fields laid waste, cities and towns reduced to ruins, corpses rotting in fields by the hundred. All sounds depressingly familiar doesn't it? Only this is not some dusty corner of the Middle East, or some far-off country few have even heard of, this is England's green and pleasant land in the 1640's and 1650's.
Although far more people were killed and wounded in the World Wars of the 20th Century, in terms of the proportion of the population who were casualties, the English Civil War was the bloodiest in our history. It took almost a century for our nation to recover from a decade-long orgy of violence and destruction which tore families apart, set fathers against sons and brothers against each other, with unspeakable atrocities committed by both sides. This fascinating book by Diane Purkiss, our leading Civil War historian, tells the story of how it came to happen, in the words of the people who were there. Using letters and diaries as well as official records, it tells the story of the wars which gave birth to our nation as we know it.
Fascinating stuff and well recommended.