◗ John Barratt
◗ Helion (2021)
◗ 184 pages (softback)
The author is a leading expert on the Royalist cause in the English Civil War (1642-46), and here describes the impact of that conflict on the Royalist capital of Oxford.
It is an engaging account – part military, part civilian – with helpful maps, including one of the later Civil War defences overlaid on the modern street pattern, and with his customary mix of well-written text plus extracts from contemporary letters. There are chapters on the garrison, fortifications, munitions production, and (briefly) the Oxford field army’s campaigns in 1643 (Chalgrove), 1644 (Cropredy Bridge) and 1645, plus the fall of Oxford once all realistic hope had gone. As elsewhere in England, several leading citizens backed the wrong horse and lost their all in support of the King. The relationship between Town and King was varied: military and financial support became more difficult as the war wore on and townsfolk became more reluctant.
Another very readable account by this author: he brings to life the people and business of the period, and the peculiar stresses of civil war.