picture civil warThere is no shortage of books on the English Civil War, so I hope I have not shot myself in the foot by writing two more! 

On the whole, I think not. The first book, The English Civil War is in the new ‘Fact and Fiction’  series of my publisher, Pen and Sword.

Who is it for? It would suit a person new to the subject, but it is also designed for people who know a little about the subject already but would like a few things sorted out.

Each chapter is a question about the Civil War which ends with the verdict of ‘fact’ or ‘fiction’. Some of the big issues are covered. Yes, I know ‘fact/fiction’  is a binary approach, and very little in History is so ‘black and white’ but I haven’t been simple-minded about it.

Here are the big questions !

The Civil War Happened Because Charles Was A Terrible King.
It Was An ENGLISH Civil War
Women, The Weaker Sex, Were Silent
Most People Were Unaffected And Neutral
Evil Advisors Were To Blame
Both Sides Lost
Cromwell And The Puritans Were A Miserable Bunch Who Abolished Christmas
The World Was ‘Turned Upside Down’
It Was A War of Haircuts
Cromwell Was A Military Genius/ War Criminal
The War Split Families
It Was A War For Democracy
The Cromwells Were Strong And Stable
Charles II Was Clever Than His Dad

My conclusions are


but not necessarily in that order!


I have written a fair, straightforward book that neither over-simplifies nor overcomplicates.The book is illustrated throughout, with pictures such as the one shown above . It contains an explanation of key words and offers some little known facts, in attempt to inform people but keep the tome serious but not sombre or dull.

It is meant to be an intelligent  person’s general guide to the civil war rather than a weighty work of scholarship, although I have read the heavy books, so you don’t have to. However, if you do want to, my book is a good place to start!.

Most of my conclusions would generally be accepted by experts in the period, so if you read it you cannot go far wrong. On some issues – Cromwell the war criminal, the importance of democracy, and how clever Charles II was, there may be some disagreement out there. But that’s fine. That’s what History is all about.

Three things you could do

  • Recommend this book to your local library. It fits nicely into the history section of the shelves, as it is a book for everybody.
  • Engage with me on this blog or twitter @about1816. I really love this period.
  • Buy the book. There is a moral problem here, of course- try to support your local bookshop if you can. If that’s not possible, try Hive, who support local bookshops. Amazon are not always cheap, by the way. Take that from somebody who studies these things!

Also available 


12 thoughts on “Introducing The English Civil War: Fact and Fiction

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