Sunday, August 5, 2012

I have returned

My trip to the country was lovely, why do you ask ?

I have returned and will be back blogging shortly. I finally managed to finish a piece that should be seeing print relatively soon and also started work on a scenario to christen a friends wargames room. Donogh and I will be doing some work on it, which I'm quite looking forward to as we haves collaborated on anything for a while.

While I was away I finally managed to finish CV Wedgewood's "The Thirty Years War" which has been haunting my conscience for several years now. What a writer, what a woman!

The breadth of scholarship is impressive, but the writing is what really captivated me. It wasn't an easy read - but the subject matter doesn't lend itself to easy reading. My God what an appalling tragedy - the description of the siege of Magdeburg and the privations suffered by the peasantry were moving.

Two things struck me about Wedgewood, other than the clarity and quality of her prose.

She is a mistress of the pen portrait and manages to very deftly convey character in a few pages. I particularly liked her descriptions of Cardinal Richelieu.

Secondly, she isn't afraid to have opinions and isn't afraid to judge. All historians do this - but of late the fashion is to hide it behind endless equivocation and a flurry of referencing. Wedgwood is refreshingly upfront in her assessments and wears her convictions on her sleeve.

Cracking stuff - I can't wait to read her again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Welcome back from your holiday, Conrad.

    So have you picked a rule set for the TYW yet?

    -- Jeff

    1. Donogh has made some efforts in the direction that I was going to steal - I'm not sure I can really start another period though.

  2. Glad to see you're back, hopefully suitably refreshed, agree with your comments on C V Wedgwood, look out for her 3 volumes on ECW, and her book on William the Silent and a collection of her eassays "History and Hope"
    cheers Old John

    1. I have her trial of King Charles. It looks good and a little shorter.

  3. Hi CK,

    Welcome back old chap! She is a good read and I really enjoyed her ECW titles. I believe your compatriot may have the answer re rules - MSFoy has been a very industrious fellow!

    All the best,


  4. Glad you enjoyed your break, good to see you back.


    1. I shall have to start posting again - I've been slacking of late.

  5. This was my big summer read too. I think you nailed the book and the writing... a tough but rewarding read. The defenestration of Prague pages were amazing. I also came to understand Tilly by reading this book.

  6. Welcoume back, my dear Kinch. I enjoyed your piece in the last Battlegames (in fact, I just quoted it on my own blog) and am looking forward to whatever piece you are working on.

    Thanks for the mention of Wedgewood. I know of the book but have never read it, and I have some holiday reading coming up. If you like historians who aren't afraid to speak freely and forcefully, you should pick up anything by Michael Burleigh.