Sunday, 15 March 2020

More Like Lions Than Men - Book Review




If you thought things couldn't get any better from Helion then the 51st volume of their Century of the Soldier series will blow that thought out of the water. They've done it again with a superb account of the English Civil War in Cheshire from the perspective of the Parliamentarian commander Sir William Brereton. The first thing to notice about this book is its size, at 375 pages. I found the book well written, clearly referenced and laid out, with some useful maps and lots of tables and such relating, for example, to individual unit muster rolls, recruitment, supply, ordnance, pay and even tailor's bills for cloth. Most of these are transcribed from original documents. The first section covers in great detail military operations in Cheshire, culminating in the capture of Chester by Brereton in 1646. Then we have Part II, entitled 'Anatomy of an Army', covering recruitment, organisation, leadership, in fact everything to do with recruiting, paying and feeding an army. Part III provides some pretty comprehensive information on each of the regiments of the Parliamentarian Army of Cheshire. There is a detailed summary of the history of each unit together with biographies of the commanding officers and where known other officers of each regiment. This is a positive treasure trove of information and clearly the depth of research required to produce such a detailed book was significant, as evidenced by the extensive bibliography. To top everything are lots of contemporary b&w illustrations and sixteen colour plates illustrating uniforms, flags and even a real-life dragoon on his nag! It is certainly refreshing to read about the conduct of the Civil War focussed in a single county or region. The author and publisher are to be commended on producing such an excellent work. Highly recommended for all ECW war gamers. And no, ECW is still too far down the list of projects I might consider before I pop my clogs! (Later rather than sooner of course but with more FRW to do, Italian Wars, 1/72 Marlburian, 1/72 Russian Civil War, more 1672 stuff and the rest I have plenty to keep me occupied).

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