A brilliant appraisal of the Civil War and its long-term consequences, by an acclaimed historian.
The political upheaval of the mid-seventeenth century has no parallel in English history. Other events have changed the occupancy and the powers of the throne, but the conflict of 1640-60 was more dramatic: the monarchy and the House of Lords were abolished, to be replaced by a republic and military rule.
In this wonderfully readable account, Blair Worden explores the events of this period and their origins - the war between King and Parliament, the execution of Charles I, Cromwell's rule and the Restoration - while aiming to reveal something more elusive: the motivations of contemporaries on both sides and the concerns of later generations.
If you want to be informed about that unfortunate period of English history, Blair Worden's crisp 160-pager may well be the best place to start. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - Nicholas Bagnall