'They ran through the streets with their drawn swords, cutting and slashing those men they met with, whether soldiers or not.' This is the story of the bloodiest conflict in British history, told through the accounts of those who witnessed it.
The English Civil War killed almost a quarter of a million people, divided families and laid waste to the land. It saw a king executed, a military dictatorship established in England, brutal clan warfare in Scotland and sectarianism in Ireland. Yet it also transformed English society, gave birth to new ideas about political liberty and religious freedom, and created a rich culture of letters, satire, oratory and propaganda.
Tristram Hunt's vivid history draws on Cromwell's correspondence, Levellers' tracts, bawdy songs, a Cavalier officer's journal and a Roundhead wife's memoir, among many others, to resurrect the lost voices from a time when the world was turned upside down.
'One of the most appealing things about Hunt's style is that he makes complicated ideas accessible.' Sunday Telegraph 'Hunt has an infectious enthusiasm which brings his subject to life, an eye for detail and biographical anecdote, and a racy, readable style.' Literary Review