Early Modern History Books: C1450 - C1700

  • MPSH
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    This visual exploration of the time in which William Shakespeare lived is filled with jaw-dropping facts and observations. It considers what The Bard was like as a man and covers the cultural changes that took place during his lifetime - 1564-1616.

    From the time of the Tudors to Elizabeth I's reign and the first of the Stuart kings, this book reflects the political changes that were reflected in his works and explains how he worked through maps and illustrations to look at how powerful people viewed their positions in the world.

    Author Jeremy Black also explores the locations of Shakespeare's plays and examines the reasons why he chose to set them in these locations.
  • ALVDK
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    For most of the seventeenth century the Netherlands constituted the most important maritime power in the world, with by far the largest merchant fleet and a dominance in seaborne trade that other countries feared and envied. Born out of an 80-year struggle against Spain for independence, the Dutch republic relied on naval power to guarantee its freedom, promote its trade and defend its overseas colonies. The Dutch navy was crucial to its survival and success, yet the ships that made up its fleets are among the least studied of any in the age of sail. The reasons for this include a decentralised administration of five separate admiralties, often producing ships of the same name at the same time, the widespread co-opting of merchantmen into naval fleets, and competing systems of measuring ships, all of which leads to confusion and error. The most significant contribution of this book is to produce the first definitive listing of all Dutch fighting ships - whether purpose-built, purchased, hired or captured - from the heyday of the United Provinces, complete with technical details and summaries of their careers. It also provides an appreciation of the administrative, economic and technical background, and outlines the many campaigns fought by one of the most successful navies in history. With its unique depth of information, this is a work of the utmost importance to every naval historian and general reader interested in the navies of the sailing era.
  • AMILX
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    Athanasius Kircher (1602-80) was acknowledged to be the most learned man of his age. By profession a Jesuit priest, he made himself an authority on every subject under (and above) the sun and published the results of his researches in over thirty lavishly illustrated volumes in Latin. His museum in Rome was famous and visited by everybody in the world of learning. Inevitably, his work has been superseded in most areas of study, but he remains a key figure in the history of ideas and in recent years there has been a revival of interest, in which Joscelyn Godwin has played a leading role. But while every other aspect of his thought has been studied, the fascinating engravings with which he illustrated his ideas have been largely ignored. This book fills that gap. It is divided into 15 chapters grouped by the engravings subject; these illustrations reveal his singular mind and the way he was drawn to mysticism and magic.
  • BTCWF
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    A groundbreaking new history that will transform our view of West Africa By the time of the 'Scramble for Africa' in the late nineteenth century, Africa had already been globally connected for many centuries. Its gold had fuelled the economies of Europe and Islamic world since around 1000, and its sophisticated kingdoms had traded with Europeans along the coasts from Senegal down to Angola since the fifteenth century. Until at least 1650, this was a trade of equals, using a variety of currencies - most importantly shells: the cowrie shells imported from the Maldives, and the nzimbu shells imported from Brazil. Toby Green's groundbreaking new book transforms our view of West and West-Central Africa. It reconstructs the world of kingdoms whose existence (like those of Europe) revolved around warfare, taxation, trade, diplomacy, complex religious beliefs, royal display and extravagance, and the production of art. Over time, the relationship between Africa and Europe revolved ever more around the trade in slaves, damaging Africa's relative political and economic power as the terms of monetary exchange shifted drastically in Europe's favour. In spite of these growing capital imbalances, longstanding contacts ensured remarkable connections between the Age of Revolution in Europe and America and the birth of a revolutionary nineteenth century in Africa. A Fistful of Shells draws not just on written histories, but on archival research in nine countries, on art, praise-singers, oral history, archaeology, letters, and the author's personal experience to create a new perspective on the history of one of the world's most important regions.
  • AYJQR
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    What was it like to live as a royal Tudor? Why were their residences built as they were and what went on inside their walls? Who slept where and with who? Who chose the furnishings? And what were their passions? The Tudors ruled through the day, throughout the night, in the bath, in bed and in the saddle. Their palaces were genuine power houses - the nerve-centre of military operations, the boardroom for all executive decisions and the core of international politics. Houses of Power is the result of Simon Thurley's thirty years of research, picking through architectural digs, and examining financial accounts, original plans and drawings to reconstruct the great Tudor houses and understand how these monarchs shaped their lives. Far more than simply an architectural history - a study of private life as well as politics, diplomacy and court - it gives an entirely new and remarkable insight into the Tudor world.
  • BROFK
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    A considerable part of the military history of the 17th century is dominated by the conflict between the Christian powers and the Ottoman Empire. Much has been written about the politics and the campaigns that led to the siege of Vienna in 1683 and the defeat suffered by the Sultan's armies, while, until today, there are relatively few studies on the long war that opposed Venice to the Ottoman Empire. The importance of the event in the context of politics not only of the Mediterranean, but of all Europe, is easily found in the number of chancelleries involved in the war, both directly on the battlefield or in diplomatic negotiations. The strategic duel involved the belligerents in the control of the supply routes, and the metropolitan territory of both sides remained almost excluded from military operations. It was a conflict where the logistics organization and the ability to supply the armies made the difference, similar in many ways to the campaigns in the south-western Pacific during the Second World War. It could be said that the Cretan War was the first conflict of contemporary age, but fought with the means of the 17thcentury. Other aspects make this conflict a topic of great interest. Just remember that in the last years of war, men from almost all the countries of Europe were concentrated in Crete - and for the Ottomans also from Asia and Africa. Even with regard to the reconstruction of military clothing and equipment, this work finally opens a window on a period not very frequented by researchers, although these are years in which great transformation took place both in the armaments and in the development of new combat tactics. The different types of soldiers involved in the conflict have been illustrated with care in colour plates, based on the most significant coeval examples and employing several unpublished sources.
  • AQHXR
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    This book, published to coincide with a major exhibition at the National Maritime Museum to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, centres on Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), the famous diarist and the greatest administrator of the Stuart Age. Not only a passionate diarist, Pepys was also a prolific correspondent who lived through and wrote about all the key events and leading individuals of his time: the Restoration of Charles II, the Great Plague, the Fire of London, the raid of the Dutch fleet in the river Medway, the King's mistresses. Through a series of essays by leading experts, this publication reveals the rich diversity of his career and interests - from the theatre, to advances in science and development of the Royal Navy. His life was so utterly entwined with the extraordinary period he lived through - he was even a witness to the beheading of Charles I - that the book becomes a portrait of the age. Each chapter has two or three essays followed by discussion of specific objects and paintings.
  • AFFLD
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    Akbar : The Great Emperor of India
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    Craig Clunas
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    Ming : 50 Years That Changed China
  • AMWHL
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    "Cavalier Capital", the first detailed account of Oxford's role as "Royalist capital" to appear for almost three-quarters of a century, examines all aspects of Oxford's experience in the English Civil War. As well as the effects on the town and university, special emphasis is placed on the various aspects of the Royalist occupation, including its role as a major manufacturing centre of munitions and armoury. The King's court and the operation of Royalist government and administration are examined, as are the organisation and life of the soldiers of the garrison. Leading personalities are described, as well as the military campaigns which were focused on Oxford during the war. The final siege leading to the fall of Oxford is also described. The book makes full use of both contemporary and modern accounts, and research, and is copiously illustrated with contemporary and modern illustrations.
  • BSBFJ
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    Eighteenth-century Scotland is famed for generating many of the enlightened ideas which helped to shape the modern world. But there was in the same period another side to the history of the nation. Many of Scotland's people were subjected to coercive and sometimes violent change: traditional and customary relationships were overturned and replaced by the 'rational' exploitation of land use. The Scottish Clearances is a superb and highly original account of this sometimes terrible process, which changed the Lowland countryside forever, as it also did, more infamously, the old society of the Highlands. Based on an extensive use of original sources, this pioneering book is the first to chart this tumultuous saga in one volume, with due attention to evictions and loss of land in both north and south of the Highland line. In the process, old myths are exploded and familiar assumptions undermined. With many fascinating details and the sense of an epic human story, The Scottish Clearances is an evocative memorial to all whose lives were irreparably changed in the interests of economic efficiency. The result created the landscape of Scotland as we know it today, but that came at a price. This is a story of forced clearance, of the destruction of entire communities and of large-scale emigration. Some winners were able to adapt and exploit the new opportunities, but there were also others who lost everything.
  • BRNAD
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    The second son of a modest gentry family, John Lilburne was accused of treason four times, and put on trial for his life under both Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. He fought bravely in the Civil War, seeing action at a number of key battles and rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, was shot through the arm, and nearly lost an eye in a pike accident. In the course of all this, he fought important legal battles for the rights to remain silent, to open trial, and to trial by his peers. He was twice acquitted by juries in very public trials, but nonetheless spent the bulk of his adult life in prison or exile. He is best known, however, as the most prominent of the Levellers, who campaigned for a government based on popular sovereignty two centuries before the advent of mass representative democracies in Europe. Michael Braddick explores the extraordinary and dramatic life of 'Freeborn John': how his experience of political activism sharpened and clarified his ideas, leading him to articulate bracingly radical views; and the changes in English society that made such a career possible. Without land, established profession, or public office, successive governments found him sufficiently alarming to be worth imprisoning, sending into exile, and putting on trial for his life. Above all, through his story, we can explore the life not just of John Lilburne, but of revolutionary England itself - and of ideas fundamental to the radical, democratic, libertarian, and constitutional traditions, both in Britain and the USA.
  • BRPEL
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    Tudor and Stuart Seafarers tells the compelling story of how a small island positioned on the edge of Europe transformed itself into the world's leading maritime power. In 1485, England was an inward-looking country, its priorities largely domestic and European. Over the subsequent two centuries, however, this country was transformed, as the people of the British Isles turned to the sea in search of adventure, wealth and rule. Explorers voyaged into unknown regions of the world, while merchants, following in their wake, established lucrative trade routes with the furthest reaches of the globe. At home, people across Britain increasingly engaged with the sea, whether through their own lived experiences or through songs, prose and countless other forms of material culture. This exquisitely illustrated book delves into a tale of exploration, encounter, adventure, power, wealth and conflict. Topics include the exploration of the Americas, the growth of worldwide trade, piracy and privateering and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, brought to life through a variety of personalities from the well-known - Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake and Samuel Pepys - to the ordinary sailors, dockyard workers and their wives and families whose lives were so dramatically shaped by the sea.
  • BROFQ
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    Sir William Waller called his defeat at the Battle of Roundway Down, the most heavy stroke that ever befell him. He also said it turned victory into mourning and glory into shame. Indeed his loss in July 1643 was both dramatic and unexpected but what exactly happened has posed questions to historians for many generations. For years the same old solutions as to why Waller's combined-arms army was overcome by a cavalry force of less than half its numbers have been discussed, but with little variation. They all appear to hail the experience of the vaunted Oxford Horse, the idea that the parliamentarian Horse began their fights stationary, the personal skills of Wilmot and Byron over those of Haselrig and Hungerford, and the cowardice of the parliamentarian Western Horse. These factors are probably correct in some measure, but this volume says there are two more, perhaps even greater reasons for the collapse of Waller's mounted troops. The text describes how the tactics of the day put Waller's cavalry at a decided disadvantage and that Wilmot having understood the lessons of Edgehill was able to make full use of what he saw. The book also argues a case that perhaps the ostlers and grooms of Oxfordshire contributed more to the royalist victory than has hitherto been acknowledged. The Most Heavy Stroke is full of new information and new ideas, and offers a new interpretation of what occurred and why. Not only how it happened, but where the fighting actually took place has also over the years brought several interpretations to the fore. However, many previous writers seem to ignore several witnesses whose testimonies render their own basic deployment premise somewhat flawed. The Most Heavy Stroke combines what accounts say of movements and eye-witness terrain descriptions with knowledge of period practice in a deeper study of both battle and battlefield than has been hitherto undertaken, turning agreed previous positions of both armies on their head. The Most Heavy Stroke combines new thinking on the battle with recent research on which units took part in the fighting, and what they wore and the flags they carried, even though it acknowledges the paucity of current information.
  • BSVDM
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    'An outstanding work of historical artistry, a brilliantly woven and pacy story of the men who surrounded, influenced and sometimes plagued Henry VIII.' Alison Weir Henry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, and he is often defined by his many marriages. But what do we see if we take a different look? When we see Henry through the men in his life, a new perspective on this famous king emerges... Henry's relationships with the men who surrounded him reveal much about his beliefs, behaviour and character. They show him to be capable of fierce, but seldom abiding loyalty; of raising men only to destroy them later. He loved to be attended and entertained by boisterous young men who shared his passion for sport, but at other times he was more diverted by men of intellect, culture and wit. Often trusting and easily led by his male attendants and advisers during the early years of his reign, he matured into a profoundly suspicious and paranoid king whose favour could be suddenly withdrawn, as many of his later servants found to their cost. His cruelty and ruthlessness would become ever more apparent as his reign progressed, but the tenderness that he displayed towards those he trusted proves that he was never the one-dimensional monster that he is often portrayed as. In this fascinating and often surprising new biography, Tracy Borman reveals Henry's personality in all its multi-faceted, contradictory glory.
  • ARGLP
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    The story of The Making of India begins in the seventeenth century, when a small seafaring island, one tenth the size of the Indian subcontinent, despatched sailing ships over 11,000 miles on a five-month trading journey in search of new opportunities. In the end they helped build a new nation. The sheer audacity and scale of such an endeavour, the courage and enterprise, have no parallel in world history. This book is the first to assess in a single volume almost all aspects of Britain's remarkable contribution in providing India with its lasting institutional and physical infrastructure, which continues to underpin the world's largest democracy in the twenty-first century.
  • AYEPS
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    'Who hopes still constantly with patience shall obtain victory in their claim' Sometime heir to the English throne, courtier in danger of losing her head, spy-mistress and would-be architect of a united Catholic Britain: Lady Margaret Douglas is the Tudor whose life demands a wider telling. As niece to Henry VIII and half-sister to James V of Scotland, the beautiful and Catholic Margaret held a unique and precarious position in the English court. Throughout her life, she was to navigate treacherous waters: survival necessitated it. Yet Margaret was no passive pawn or bit-part player. As the Protestant Reformations unfolded across the British Isles and the Tudor monarchs struggled to produce heirs, she had ambitions of her own. She wanted to see her family ruling a united, Catholic Britain. When her niece Mary, Queen of Scots was left a widow, Margaret saw her chance. Through a thoroughly Machiavellian combination of timing, networking and family connections, she set in motion a chain of shattering events that would one day see her descendants succeed to the crowns of England, Ireland and Scotland. Morgan Ring has revived the story of Lady Margaret Douglas to vivid and captivating effect. From a richly detailed backdrop of political and religious turbulence Margaret emerges, full of resilience, grace and intelligence. Drawing on previously unexamined archival sources, So High a Blood presents a fascinating and authoritative portrait of a woman with the greatest of ambitions for her family, her faith and her countries.
  • ATHTH
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    Henry Tudor has been called the most unlikely king of England. Yet his rise from obscurity was foretold by the bards, and the familial bloodbath of the Wars of the Roses by 1485 left Henry as the sole adult Lancastrian claimant to the Crown. The hunchback usurper Richard III desperately wanted him dead, and in his exile Henry was left with no choice. He either invaded England or faced being traded to Richard to meet certain death. Henry's father, Edmund, Earl of Richmond, was the son of a queen of England, sister to the king of France, and of an obscure Welsh court servant, who had been born in secrecy away from court. Edmund's death at the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, left Henry to grow up in almost constant danger, imprisonment and exile. In 1485, his 'ragtag' invading army at Bosworth faced overwhelming odds, but succeeded. Henry went on to become England's wisest and greatest king, but it would be his son - Henry VIII - and granddaughter - Elizabeth I - who would take all the credit.
  • AUXYS
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    James VI & I, the namesake of the King James Version of the Bible, had a series of notorious male favourites. No one denies that these relationships were amorous, but were they sexual? Michael B. Young merges political history with recent scholarship in the history of sexuality to answer that question. More broadly, he shows that James's favourites had a negative impact within the royal family, at court, in Parliament, and in the nation at large. Contemporaries raised the spectre of a sodomitical court and an effeminized nation; some urged James to engage in a more virile foreign policy by embarking on war. Queen Anne encouraged a martial spirit and moulded her oldest son to be more manly than his father. Repercussions continued after James's death, detracting from the majesty of the monarchy and contributing to the outbreak of the Civil War. Persons acquainted with the history of sexuality will find surprising premonitions here of modern homosexuality and homophobia. General readers will find a world of political intrigue coloured by sodomy, pederasty, and gender instability. For readers new to the subject, the book begins with a helpful overview of King James's life.
  • AYLMZ
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    The causes of the three 'English' Civil Wars (1642 to 1645, 1648, and 1651) are complex and controversial - clashes of conviction, belief, and personality, and a struggle between opposing social groups and economic interests. But, whatever the focus of scholarship, many answers can be sought at the local level, among county communities that were far more outward-looking than once suggested. That is why Ian Beckett's in-depth study of Buckinghamshire, one of the pivotal counties during this turbulent period in British history, is of such value. None of the best-known battles or sieges took place in Buckinghamshire, but there was destructive combat in the county on a smaller scale because its location placed it on the front line between the opposing forces - between the royalist headquarters at Oxford and the parliamentarian stronghold of London. As Ian Beckett shows, the impact of war on Bucks was considerable. His analysis gives us an insight into the experience of local communities and the county as a whole - and it reveals much about the experience of the conflict across the country.
  • AVHRR
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    The turbulent Tudor age never fails to capture the imagination. But what was it actually like to be a woman during this period? This was a time when death in infancy or during childbirth was rife; when marriage was usually a legal contract, not a matter for love, and the education of women was minimal at best. Yet the Tudor century was also dominated by powerful and characterful women in a way that no era had been before. Elizabeth Norton explores the seven ages of the Tudor woman, from childhood to old age, through the diverging examples of women such as Elizabeth Tudor, Henry VIII's sister who died in infancy; Cecily Burbage, Elizabeth's wet nurse; Mary Howard, widowed but influential at court; Elizabeth Boleyn, mother of a controversial queen; and Elizabeth Barton, a peasant girl who would be lauded as a prophetess. Their stories are interwoven with studies of topics ranging from Tudor toys to contraception to witchcraft, painting a portrait of the lives of queens and serving maids, nuns and harlots, widows and chaperones.
  • AVLHZ
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    Catherine of Aragon continues to fascinate readers 500 years after she became Henry VIII's first queen. Her life was one of passion and determination, of suffering and hope, but ultimately it is a tragic love story, as circumstances conspired against her. Having lost her first husband, Henry's elder brother Prince Arthur, she endured years of ill health and penury, to make a dazzling second match in Henry VIII. There is no doubt that she was Henry's true love, compatible with him in every respect and, for years, she presided over a majestic court as the personification of his ideal woman. However, Catherine's body failed her in an age when fertility meant life or death. When it became clear that she could no longer bear children, the king's attention turned elsewhere, and his once chivalric devotion became resentment. Catherine's final years were spent in lonely isolation but she never gave up her vision: she was devoted to her faith, her husband and to England, to the extent that she was prepared to be martyred for them. One of the most remarkable women of the Tudor era, Catherine's legendary focus may have contributed to the dissolution of the way of life she typified.
  • AYSEY
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    Hey For Old Robin! was the cry of the Earl of Essex's army during the First Civil War as, contrary to modern popular belief, Robert Devereux was well-liked by the men he led. This book fills a gap in the literature of the Civil Wars, taking up the challenge to write a new history of Essex and his Army and examining the often-repeated view that he was a cautious dullard with little military skill. The two authors Christopher Scott and Alan Turton, both well known published military historians, present a more balanced view of Parliament's first Lord General, bringing him out of the shadow of Cromwell. In doing so they are not afraid to bite the bullet of period and modern criticism of Essex as a strategist and tactician, as well as his reported failings as a man. Based on primary research, including site visits to scenes of his triumphs and disasters, they trace the story of the early campaigns, beginning with Edgehill, then Brentford and Turnham Green, the relief of Gloucester and the retreat to Newbury, the Siege of Reading, the Thames Valley Campaign, the disaster of Lostwithiel and the rebuilding of the army for Second Newbury. Whilst they leave the detailed examination of the various battles fought by Essex and his men to more specialist books, they tell the story of each of the campaigns and share their thoughts on Essex's problems and his decisions and actions. They also examine how the armies were constituted, officered, recruited and maintained, as well as its reductions and transfers. In separate chapters they describe Essex's Foot, the Horse, the Dragoons, The Artillery and The Train, dealing with what the army wore, what it was paid, what weapons it used, the flags it carried and how it was organised, operated and fought. All this is set within a sound understanding and appreciation of the background of the seventeenth century and Essex's place in the socio-political zeitgeist as well as period military thinking and practice. Illustrated with a wealth of seldom-seen contemporary engravings of Essex's officers and friends and newly commissioned maps, as well as uniform and cornets & colours plates, this work is of great use to anyone with an interest in our civil wars including academics, local historians, re-enactors and wargamers.
  • AYSYT
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    The Bavarian Army has been overshadowed by those of Gustavus Adolphus' and Wallenstein's Armies, but it was one of only a few armies to have fought throughout the Thirty Years War, first as part of the Catholic League and then an independent army after the Peace of Prague. Among the generals of the Bavarian Army were Count Johan von Tilly and Gottfried von Pappenheim, who are two of the most famous generals of the war. This book covers not only the Bavarian Army's organisation, but also has chapters on recruitment, officers, clothing, weaponry, pay and rations of a soldier during the Thirty Years War. As well as life and death in the army, this book also looks at the women who accompanied it. The chapter on 'civilians and soldiers' looks at the impact of the war on the civilian population, their reaction to it and the infamous sack of Magdeburg which sent shockwaves across Europe. This chapter also looks at the impact on Bavaria by having Swedish, Spanish and Imperialist troops quartered upon it and how this affected the country's war effort. In addition there are chapters on regimental colours and a detailed look into the tactics of the time, including those of Spain, Sweden and the Dutch. As well as using archival and archaeological evidence to throw new light on the subject the author has used several memoirs written by those who served in the army during the war, including Peter Hagendorf who served in Pappenheim 's Regiment of Foot from 1627 until the regiment was disbanded after the war. Hagendorf's vivid account is unique because not only is it a full account of the life of a common soldier during the war, but also records the human side of campaign, including the death of his two wives and all but two of his children. This book is essential reading to anyone interested in the wars of the early seventeenth century, not just the Thirty Years War.