Monday, July 23, 2007

Reading Room
The English Civil War: A People’s History
Diane Purkiss

Seventeenth century… The armed conflict took a toll of nearly eight lakh people, the majority of them in Ireland. “One in four of all men served in the armies on one side or the other… The war was not a clean and tidy affair of sabres and dashing cavalry charges; it was a bloody business largely driven by guns — cannons and muskets and pistols — which at times appears to have combined the worst aspects of the American Civil War and Vietnam. Both sides used soft lead bullets that did terrible damage to flesh. For years afterwards, the London streets were full of one-legged beggars. Cities and castles were razed to the ground. There were atrocities involving civilians, again especially in Ireland. The war was expensive, and individual families were ruined…”

Thus reads a poignant snatch in The English Civil War: A People’s History by Diane Purkiss.

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