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The English Civil War (Hardback)

Myth, Legend and Popular Memory


By Charles J Esdaile
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 10 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399037488
Published: 30th June 2024


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Cavaliers and Roundheads are figures who appear in hundreds of English ghost stories. In this innovative account, Charles Esdaile argues that such tales are in reality folk memories of an episode of English history that was second only to the Black Death in terms of individual and collective suffering alike, and, further, that they reveal important truths about the way in which the conflict was represented: it is no surprise, then, to find that spectral Cavaliers are often romantic figures and revenant Roundheads grim ones full of menace. Yet, the book is no mere catalogue. On the contrary, rather than being discussed in a vacuum, the tales of haunting are rather set within a detailed regional history of the conflicts of 1642-1651 of a sort that has never yet been attempted, but is, for all that, badly needed.

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