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- Battle of Towton
- ISBN 13: 9781783461929
- Towton, The Battle of Palm Sunday Field by VENNING TIMOTHY | | Booktopia
I have long had a fascination with this all-encompassing family feud. I am a Yorkist. About ten years ago I decided to turn what was a rudimentary knowledge of the events into a more detailed understanding.
My brother bought me a copy and I was enthralled. When I got home I bumped this book up my wishlist, wanting to know still more, and was lucky enough to have my brother buy it for me for Christmas. About the book: It is hard to ascertain an exact number of casualties more than years on, but one thing is certain - The Battle Of Towton is the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil.
It is also almost certain that more people died on that Palm Sunday, March 29, , than on the July 1, , the disastrous, tragic opening day of the Battle Of The Somme in the First World War, the bloodiest day in our modern experience of warfare. The population of the country in was around 40 million. In it is estimated to have been just 4 million.
Approximately one in people from across the entire nation died at Towton. Plenty has been written about the battles of the two World Wars.source site
Battle of Towton
Towton, for all its enormity, remains relatively obscure. This, I would suggest is down to two things. Firstly, like the clashes of the English Civil War nearly two hundred years later, it was just one of a series of battles fought all over the country. St Albans twice , Northampton, Tewkesbury, Wakefield, Barnet and more; all saw blood spilled on the fields and streets.
ISBN 13: 9781783461929
Secondly, time has destroyed much of the evidence on the battlefield and there is no visitor centre here as at Bosworth; no flags flying to mark the starting positions of the Lancastrian and Yorkist armies at dawn on that dreadful day. John Sadler like George Goodwin provides a fabulously clear account of the power struggle that erupted in midth Century Britain and a detailed history of the battles and participants in the years leading up to He gives a description of the events of the battle, the rout and its immediate legacy. Then in the appendices he continues the story until the end of the war in the north of England in If a man fell he was lost, snuffed out by a flurry of blows.
The noise would be terrific, a mad cacophony of grinding blades, shouts, exhortations, curses and screams.
Towton, The Battle of Palm Sunday Field by VENNING TIMOTHY | | Booktopia
Knots of men would eddy and swirl as with the ebb and suck of the tide, temporarily disengaging as the ranks were thinned or disordered. The very press of dead would form a considerable barrier so that the living must fight atop heaps of slain, adding their blood and entrails to the pile. There are pages where you want to give a round of applause for the detail. His efforts to establish exactly how many combatants there were are remarkable. His explanation of the different possible interpretations of various accounts of the battle, all written long after, is truly admirable.
This is no sanitised account of warfare. Details of the grim realities of pitched battle, like the quotation above, and of the very process of keeping an army on the move are all here.
For someone coming to the book with little or no knowledge of the subject, there is a most useful set of biographical notes about many of the participants, both in the battle itself and in the years leading up to it. There is also a simple timeline to act as a guide to events of the Wars, going beyond the parameters of the book. If you want real detail, the glossary will tell you the difference between a kettle hat and a sallet, a destrier and a palfrey.
This book has two badly drawn maps on facing pages at the start of the book that in some respects appear to contradict one another, with a difference in symbols between them. The black and white photographs of the battlefield at the centre of the book need to be tied into a map for clarity. The biographical notes are great, but the fact that John Sadler refers to participants by different titles at different times can make things unclear amid the torrent of names. And fundamentally, it is extraordinary that a book about the longest dynastic clash in the history of the nation should have no family tree or trees to accompany the biographical notes.
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