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ANDREW WARMINGTON was formerly senior research assistant in history at the University of Durham, following a First Class degree from York and a D.Phil. from St Peter's College, Oxford. He is now a freelance research analyst.
This is a highly specialised work of academic history, so it isn't for everyone but the style is much fresher than the usual and the author, Andrew Warmington's obvious affection for the area means that it should appeal to anyone interested in the history, topography and popular culture of Gloucestershire. Refreshingly, too, to my mind,he doesn't bother to hide his bias; he makes it perfectly clear that the Parliamentarian side was that of the vast majority of the people and that the Royalists - especially Charles I himself - were worthless people. As well as covering some familiar ground in terms of seeing the tumultuous years of the Civil War and Commonwealth period through the eyes of a local community, the author extends his coverage to the Restoration period. Warmington also has a great eye for the human dimension, and there are plenty of characters and local flavour in the book, from the insults tht gentry hurled at each other when a pre-election compact broke down in 1640 to the football match that was to be the cue for an anti-Rump riot in Bristol in 1660. The amateur psychologist will probably enjoy his account of how the Civil War government of Gloucester struggled to cope with the political fighting caused by the demented paranoia of Colonel Massey, the city's governor. This is also a solid work of historical research in a county with relatively poor documentation; the author has clearly gutted the state papers, family records and printed newssheets of the day for local references and has managed to pull together a strong narrative of events throughout the 32 years of coverage.
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