Soldiers and Strangers


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An Ethnic History of the English Civil War

Mark Stoyle

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The Civil War fought between Charles I and his Parliament is one of the most momentous conflicts in English history. This book provides a wholly new perspective by revealing the extent to which the struggle possessed an “ethnic” dimension, and the impact of that on the forging of English national identity.

Stoyle reveals the acute fear of foreign invasion that gripped England after 1640, when the insular English were placed on the brink of what they perceived as a national emergency. Stoyle sets the creation of the New Model Army within that context, arguing that its appearance represented the culmination of a campaign by Oliver Cromwell and others to forge a purely “English” military instrument, one purged of the foreign solders who had been so prominent in earlier Parliamentarian armies. This self-consciously “English” army eventually succeeded in wresting back control of the kingdom by defeating the king’s forces, re-conquering Cornwall and Wales, and expelling all foreign agents.

MARK STOYLE is reader in history at the University of Southampton. Among his books is West Britons: Cornish Identities and the Early Modern British State.

'... a distinguished study of the impact of 'foreign interventions' in the English war...'---BBC History Magazine

"Soldiers and Strangers is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable studies of the Civil War to have appeared in recent years."---Blair Worden, Literary Review

"Stoyle's ethnic analysis is very fine, not just in areas one might expect, relating to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cornwall, but in his careful winnowing of the contemporary sources that throws up combatants hailing from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Scandinavia, Poland, Spain, the Balkans and even Iraq."---The Independent on Sunday

"[An] outstandingly original contribution to the field based on deep learning and written with panache... [A] compelling and tautly argued book."---Times Higher Education Supplement

"[An] excellent and thoughtful study...This volume explores in a new way an important aspect of the English civil war and it significantly deepens and enriches our understanding of it. The arguments are clear, lucid, well presented and generally convincing...confirming  the depth and breadth of Dr Stoyle's meticulous research. In short, this is an excellent, attractive and readable new study of England's civil war, casting valuable new light on an important aspect of that conflict."---Peter Gaunt, The Cromwellian

"A clear, concise, and sometimes chilling examination of ethnic tensions and their political implications in the First Civil War."—Canadian Journal of History

"The book is impressively researched, original yet persuasive in its argument, and gives a welcome new twist to the concept of the 'British dimension.'"—David Underdown, Sixteenth Century Journal

‘[A] stimulating and challenging work.’
ISBN: 9780300107005
Publication Date: November 1, 2005
320 pages, 7 1/2 x 9 1/4
12 b/w illus.
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