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Marshal Schomberg, 1615-1690—“The Ablest Soldier of His Age”: International Soldiering and the Formation of State Armies in Seventeenth-Century Europe

ISBN-13: 978-1903900604
ISBN-10: 1903900603
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Editorial Reviews


“While Schomberg’s ambitions often aimed higher than his capacity to realize them, his was a life filled with risk taking on and off the battlefield. Despite his best efforts, he was never fully able to translate his successes on the battlefield into real political power, though he amassed many honors and titles as well as much property during his long career. Schomberg was a transitional figure who served many masters as a military entrepreneur during an age when national identities and professional armies began to take shape. With its appendices of contemporary documents, a family genealogy, and excellent bibliography, this fine biography of ‘the ablest Soldier of His Age’ should appeal broadly to scholars and students interested in seventeenth-century European politics and war.”  —Choice

“For far too long (since 1789) we have awaited a new biography of Marshall Schomberg. Glozier has responded with one in this third book dealing with seventeenth century military history. As Glozier showed in an earlier work, a military career like Schomberg’s after 1648 was becoming increasingly rare as national governments took more control over their armies. The marshal went from being an exemplar of the European officers corps to an exception. We should thank Glozier for producing a biography of one of seventeenth-century Europe’s most well-known soldiers.”  —Seventeenth-Century News

“A couple of articles in English have examined specific aspects of Schomberg’s career, attempt has been made to reassess Schomberg’s entire life in terms of recent scholarship about the nature of early modern warfare, the social and political structures of absolute monarchies, and the character of the international state system after 1648. Matthew Glozier goes some way to remedying this neglect, offers an accessible, campaign-by-campaign account of Schomberg’s military career. It gives due weight to his inflexible Protestant convictions, and Glozier also recognizes the importance of networks of kin and colleagues in securing promotion and facilitating Schomberg’s shifts in service from one state to another.”  —The International History Review

“While not the most celebrated, Frederich Herman von Schomberg was certainly among the most accomplished and broadly experienced milirary leaders of his day. Matthew Glozier’s is the first full-length biography of Marshal Schomberg since Johann Friedrich August Kazner’s two-volume study published in German in 1789. While Glozier’s claim that Schomberg was a ‘central player’ seems hyperbole, it is easy enough to agree that the marshall’s life embodied many representative features of seventeenth-century European military life, politics and aristocratic culture.”  —Sixteenth Century Journal

Glozier masterfully clarifies the complexity of early modern politics – to give one example, the situation in which this German count fought for the Portuguese crown with covert French aid and English army units. This book is a straightforward exposition of an important but neglected life – Schomberg has not had a biographer since Johann Friedrich August Kazner in 1789 – and a good read.”  —Proceedings of The Huguenot Society

“Glozier’s biography effectively weaves together the captivating story of Schomberg’s life and broader political events from the Thirty Years’ War to the Glorious Revolution. This book also includes a detailed chronology, a Schomberg family pedigree, a more complete family genealogy, and three relevant documents: Schomberg’s petition to Louis XIV on behalf of the Huguenots (1685), Luzancy’s panegyric to Schomberg (1690), and a fictional dialogue between the spirits of Schomberg and the duke of Lorraine (1691). Most importantly, Marshal Schomberg, 1615–1690 has succeeded in shedding light on a figure whose dazzling international career deserves much more attention than it has hitherto received.”  —Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d’histoire

About the Author

Matthew Glozier is Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Sydney, and the author of The Huguenot Soldiers of William of Orange and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 ("an important and innovative contribution to Dutch military historiography as well as Huguenot studies," H-Albion).

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