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The English Revolution and the Wars in the Three Kingdoms, 1638-1652 Paperback – Mar 29 2007

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"This is an admirably thorough attempt to take the reader through the military, religious, and political complexities of the times. It is an ideal choice for both the undergraduate and general reader."
Jasmin L. Johnson, Gillingham, Kent

"Nice features include good maps, a useful index, and superb descriptions of troop movements and battles. A valuable synthesis and a contribution to scholarship. Highly recommended."
R.P. Gildrie, Austin Petty State University

"Gentles descriptions are based on a thorough mastery of the primary sources as well as a deep understanding of the latest literature. Ian Gentles has made an impressive contribution to a field that is not short of impressive contributions."
Charles Carlton, North Carolina State University

"This book provides a series of new insights into the civil wars, which make its appearance more than welcome. It is the most recent academic study by an experienced academic."
Martyn Bennett, Nottingham Trent University

"Professor Gentles is one of the few historians capable of presenting this notoriously complex and unstable subject in such a clear and readable way. As a result, general readers and history students alike will find it an excellent and reliable introduction to this fascinating period."
David J. Appleby, University of Nottingham

"The book is a compendium of the latest scholarship on military history. Its charts on wartime taxation and maps of campaign marches and battlefield alignments will be a boon to readers."
Mark Kishlansky, Harvard University

From the Back Cover

The English Revolution  Ian Gentles


The English revolution was a shattering experience for the people of Ireland and Scotland as well as England , as wars broke out successively in – and between – all three kingdoms. Monarchy was overthrown, the Established Church abolished, and an aggressive, expansionist foreign policy unleashed that would set Britain on the road to empire.  The costs of war and revolution were enormous: a devastating death toll, property laid waste throughout each kingdom, and a narrowly-based republican regime that was in several respects more tyrannical than the divine-right monarchy it replaced.  


Ian Gentles provides a riveting, in-depth analysis of the battles and sieges, as well as the political and religious struggles that underpinned them.  Based on extensive archival and secondary research he undertakes the first sustained attempt to arrive at global estimates of the human and economic cost of the wars.  The many actors in the drama are appraised with subtlety.  Charles I, while partly the author of his own misfortune, is shown to have been at moments an inspirational leader.


The English Revolution and the Wars in the Three Kingdoms is a sophisticated, comprehensive, exciting account of the sixteen years that were the hinge of British and Irish history.  It encompasses politics and war, personalities and ideas, embedding them all in a coherent and absorbing narrative.  There was nothing inevitable about the outcome of the English Revolution, as the book’s emphasis on the importance of ideas and of human agency convincingly demonstrates.


Ian Gentles is Visiting Professor of History at Tyndale College , Toronto .  His books include The New Model Army (1992), and he has contributed numerous articles to The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography .

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By far the best on the topic March 1 2010
By Jonathan Baum - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the better books on the topic, Prof, Gentles combines background and narrative for a comprehensive and readable account of this era of British and Irish history. By surveying the background of the various topics at the beginning of each chapter, Gentle allows the reader to have all the necessary information to understand the issues that caused and lead to the outcomes of the revolution and various wars. The military narrative is not neglected and every campaign and battle is covered, although social and political topics are also dealt with. The maps are adequate. If ya gotta read just one book on the topic, make it this one.