Hot Best Seller

The Siege of Loyalty House: A Civil War Story

Availability: Ready to download

It was a time of climate change and colonialism, puritans and populism, witch hunts and war. A greater proportion of the British population died in the civil wars of the seventeenth century than in the world wars of the twentieth. Author Jessie Childs recovers the shock of this conflict by plunging us into one of its most extraordinary episodes: the siege of Basing House. T It was a time of climate change and colonialism, puritans and populism, witch hunts and war. A greater proportion of the British population died in the civil wars of the seventeenth century than in the world wars of the twentieth. Author Jessie Childs recovers the shock of this conflict by plunging us into one of its most extraordinary episodes: the siege of Basing House. To the parliamentarians, the royalist stronghold was the devil's seat. Its defenders called it "Loyalty House." We follow artists, apothecaries, merchants and their families from the revolutionary streets of London to the Marquess of Winchester's mist-shrouded mansion. Over two years, they are battered, bombarded, starved, and gassed. From within they face smallpox, spies, and mutiny. Their resistance becomes legendary, but in October 1645, Oliver Cromwell rolls in the heavy guns and they prepare for a last stand. Drawing on unpublished manuscripts and the voices of dozens of men, women, and children caught in the crossfire, Childs weaves a thrilling tale of war and peace, terror and faith, savagery and civilisation.


Compare

It was a time of climate change and colonialism, puritans and populism, witch hunts and war. A greater proportion of the British population died in the civil wars of the seventeenth century than in the world wars of the twentieth. Author Jessie Childs recovers the shock of this conflict by plunging us into one of its most extraordinary episodes: the siege of Basing House. T It was a time of climate change and colonialism, puritans and populism, witch hunts and war. A greater proportion of the British population died in the civil wars of the seventeenth century than in the world wars of the twentieth. Author Jessie Childs recovers the shock of this conflict by plunging us into one of its most extraordinary episodes: the siege of Basing House. To the parliamentarians, the royalist stronghold was the devil's seat. Its defenders called it "Loyalty House." We follow artists, apothecaries, merchants and their families from the revolutionary streets of London to the Marquess of Winchester's mist-shrouded mansion. Over two years, they are battered, bombarded, starved, and gassed. From within they face smallpox, spies, and mutiny. Their resistance becomes legendary, but in October 1645, Oliver Cromwell rolls in the heavy guns and they prepare for a last stand. Drawing on unpublished manuscripts and the voices of dozens of men, women, and children caught in the crossfire, Childs weaves a thrilling tale of war and peace, terror and faith, savagery and civilisation.

43 review for The Siege of Loyalty House: A Civil War Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Wilson

    The siege of Basing House in Basingstoke was a microcosm of the English civil war. The author shows us characters on both sides , an assortment of soldiers, aristocrats, traders , actors and all kinds of people. Through them we see the nuanced views of many - not all those loyal to the office of the king had high regard for Charles or the Stuarts. Henry Rawdon for instance was an importer of wine from many countries and couldn’t afford to be sectarian. Though he fought for the king, he felt the The siege of Basing House in Basingstoke was a microcosm of the English civil war. The author shows us characters on both sides , an assortment of soldiers, aristocrats, traders , actors and all kinds of people. Through them we see the nuanced views of many - not all those loyal to the office of the king had high regard for Charles or the Stuarts. Henry Rawdon for instance was an importer of wine from many countries and couldn’t afford to be sectarian. Though he fought for the king, he felt the reign of Archbishop Laud under Charles was just as harsh as Puritan excesses. In John Venn his former colleague , opposed to episcopacy and also alienated by the Kings refusal to hold a parliament, we see his opposite number . Likewise , some Roundheads questioned the savagery sometimes displayed. For those supporting Parliament, we do see how the kings ship money tax affected traders badly. We also see Charles rejecting what are reasonable peace terms in the name of absolute monarchy. As the house crumbles It’s an engrossing portrait of the horrors of siege warfare even then. And marshalling the resistance to Cromwell’s forces , it’s a female aristocrat , lady Honora Paulet, who shines in the masculine world of war. Estimates of Cromwell’s brutality go and up down - since Antonia Frasers biography of him, views have been more nuanced in terms of reaction to a royalist regime not marked by tolerance , and some genuine desire on Cromwell’s part for some tolerance in peacetime, as well as ending of some needless wars ( despite the massacres which even in an age of harsh militaristic solutions can’t be exonerated, though they have been exaggerated ). But war is war , though when the end comes more are taken alive than slaughtered. In the end, he beat the king because he was simply a better strategist, and his glorying in victory is understandable but jarring nowadays. This book is well researched and written and good for giving us views on the ground as the king and parliament slugged it out. I suspect a lot of us would probably side with Rawdon - whatever our views on royalty or any established authority , it’s a big thing to go to war with it and you have to know your convictions, especially when what you’re being offered is a clash between two less than tolerant regimes . Proportionately the civil war would take more English lives than World War One .

  2. 4 out of 5

    S McDonald

    Absolutely magnificent - a powerful story, splendidly researched and superbly told. Through her deft portraits of a handful of key people we are drawn into their lives before they are thrown into the maelstrom of life at Basing, which makes the accounts of the sieges all the more moving. (My personal favorite is Thomas Johnson, the London apothecary and herbalist, as we see him with his family and plying his trade, and follow him from his delight in plant-hunting forays to his courage as an offi Absolutely magnificent - a powerful story, splendidly researched and superbly told. Through her deft portraits of a handful of key people we are drawn into their lives before they are thrown into the maelstrom of life at Basing, which makes the accounts of the sieges all the more moving. (My personal favorite is Thomas Johnson, the London apothecary and herbalist, as we see him with his family and plying his trade, and follow him from his delight in plant-hunting forays to his courage as an officer at Basing, to his much-lamented death). And then, for those who survive, we briefly follow their lives through the aftermath of the Civil Wars into 1650s and the Restoration. Childs is incredibly sure-footed in the historical big picture and the details, so that as well as this being the story of those caught up in Basing House during the First Civil War, it also becomes a terrific - and wonderfully readable - overview of almost the whole 17th C.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Hanson

    It's a stretch to call this book - as Simon Schama does in a cover blurb - "almost Tolstoyan" (the "almost" doing a lot of lifting there), as the sources don't permit any sustained access into the internal lives of the protagonists. It is interesting, though, in its approach to the much-studied English Civil War. If the actual siege of the title is presented as little more than a series of set-pieces, Childs' broader agenda - reaching back to a pre-War London neighborhood, where some later sworn It's a stretch to call this book - as Simon Schama does in a cover blurb - "almost Tolstoyan" (the "almost" doing a lot of lifting there), as the sources don't permit any sustained access into the internal lives of the protagonists. It is interesting, though, in its approach to the much-studied English Civil War. If the actual siege of the title is presented as little more than a series of set-pieces, Childs' broader agenda - reaching back to a pre-War London neighborhood, where some later sworn enemies lived together in peace - does show decisively how great matters of State can take their toll at the local and family level.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Darryl Tomo

    A fantastic achievement - brings the history of this neglected period of time alive like no other. Childs skilfully tells the story of the Civil War through the lens of the siege of Basing House, and the people caught up in the siege. It's so skilfully and effectively done, and so illuminating, that I forgot I was reading about the 17th century at points as the descriptions of suffering in war etc are so universal. Loved it, one of the best history books I've read for a long time. A fantastic achievement - brings the history of this neglected period of time alive like no other. Childs skilfully tells the story of the Civil War through the lens of the siege of Basing House, and the people caught up in the siege. It's so skilfully and effectively done, and so illuminating, that I forgot I was reading about the 17th century at points as the descriptions of suffering in war etc are so universal. Loved it, one of the best history books I've read for a long time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Ede-Borrett

    This book has had so many rave reviews already that yet another would seem superfluous. Let me just say it was a great read and is a superb book whether you are interested in the English Civil War for itself or not. Try it - you WILL enjoy, I am certain.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Paxton

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alix

  9. 5 out of 5

    Myles

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Taylor

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rob Sculthorpe

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rustlem

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jerome Lyte

  15. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex Wiseman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  19. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Wood

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joe Chaplin

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Smith

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jake Rowemer

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hammond

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Stewart

  28. 4 out of 5

    James Harrison

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gill Rumsby

  30. 4 out of 5

    Polly Horton

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  34. 4 out of 5

    Adam Payne

  35. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Sanchez

  36. 4 out of 5

    Emil Modoran

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  38. 4 out of 5

    Martin Davies

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Knapp

  40. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  41. 4 out of 5

    Morement Luc

  42. 5 out of 5

    Carly

  43. 5 out of 5

    Paige Roeber

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.