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The Siege of Loyalty House: A new history of the English Civil War by Jessie Childs

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'A gifted narrative historian, eloquent, graceful and witty; the stories she tells are the ones we all should know' Hilary Mantel

It was a time of climate change and colonialism, puritans and populism, witch hunts and war . . .

This is the story of a home that became a warzone. Basing House in Hampshire saw one of the longest and bloodiest sieges of the English Civil War. Defended for over two years by artists and aristocrats, actors and apothecaries, women and children, it became a symbol of royalist defiance and a microcosm of the wider conflict.

Drawing on unpublished manuscripts and the voices of dozens of soldiers and civilians, award-winning historian Jessie Childs weaves a thrilling tale of war and peace, terror and faith, savagery and civilization.


'Extraordinary, thrilling, immersive ... at times almost Tolstoyan in its emotional intelligence and literary power' Simon Schama

'Compellingly readable... [a] beautifully written and lucid account' Mail on Sunday

'Brilliant. Original. Gripping.' Antonia Fraser

'Beautifully written and gripping from first page to last. A sparkling book by one of the UK's finest historians' Peter Frankopan

'The Siege of Loyalty House is not only deeply researched. Childs has composed a wonderfully poetic narrative and adds a touch of the gothic' The Times

'Successfully brings the ghastliness of the period to life, dramatically, vividly and with pathos' Charles Spencer, Spectator

About the Author
Jessie Childs is the award-winning author of God's Traitors (PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History) and Henry VIII's Last Victim (Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography). She has written and reviewed for many papers, including the Sunday Times, Guardian and London Review of Books, and is an editorial adviser of History Today. Her TV contributions include the BAFTA-nominated Elizabeth I's Secret Agents (BBC 2 & PBS) and two BBC series on Charles I.

Atmospheric, unflinching and...exquisitely witty * Guardian, *Books of the Year* *
This is war as it should be, passionate, brutal, bloody and chaotic, all described in luscious, evocative prose * The Times, *Books of the Year* *
Jessie Childs is one of the finest historians working today; her illuminating, deeply researched, and beautifully written books are never anything short of superlative, and here she does it again. This is a vivid, thrilling story, rendered in delicious prose and brilliant with gems dug from the archives -- Suzannah Lipscomb
A gripping account of the agony at Basing... Characters step off the page... The prose sparkles... Childs's book conveys the raw emotion of events, especially the trauma of the siege itself... In her aim 'to recover the shock of that experience and to look upon the face of the war' Childs could be describing the trenches of Ypres or Bakhmut or the sieges of Leningrad or Mariupol -- Malcolm Gaskill * London Review of Books *
Compelling... Childs reveals brilliantly the world of the Civil War in the grain of sand that is Basing House. She captures the horror, the courage, the sheer humanity of those, both besiegers and besieged, who endured the long, desperate lulls punctuated by intense episodes of visceral violence * Daily Telegraph *
The Siege of Loyalty House... enriches the packed civil war bookshelf with this elegantly written, close-focus history of a place whose ordeals epitomised the pain of a struggle that tore homes, clans, trades, and souls apart * Financial Times *
A spectacular work of scholarship, this is epic, vital history, sweeping from the great trends and ideas of the time to the individual details of vividly lived lives. This brilliant book takes you into the heart of the Civil War, the brutal struggle for the sympathies of a country, the men who fought, women who tried to survive; this is blood, desire and struggle on the page, taking you deep into the seventeenth century world; you can feel its beating heart -- Kate Williams
Compellingly readable... [a] beautifully written and lucid account * Mail on Sunday *
A thrilling account of Basing House, a royalist stronghold during the English Civil War nicknamed 'Loyalty' and the sieges it withstood until its fall to Oliver Cromwell in 1645 * New York Times *
Riveting... The breaking of such lives and communities makes poignant reading... [Childs's] focus is local and English, but the story is human and timeless * Economist *

Book Information
ISBN 9781784702090
Author Jessie Childs
Format Paperback
Page Count 336
Imprint Vintage
Publisher Vintage Publishing
Weight(grams) 300g
Dimensions(mm) 196mm * 128mm * 30mm


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