Category Archives: BookReview

Rhys Morgan, The Welsh and the Shaping of Early Modern Ireland 1558-1641 (de Mesa)

Rhys Morgan The Welsh and the Shaping of Early Modern Ireland 1558-1641, Irish Historical Monographs XI (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2014) xii+ 230pp.  $120.00 Rhys Morgan’s The Welsh and the Shaping of Early Modern Ireland is a welcomed addition to the … Continue reading

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Michael Mallett, Mercenaries and their Masters: Warfare in Renaissance Italy (Albright)

Michael Mallett Mercenaries and their Masters: Warfare in Renaissance Italy (Pen & Sword, 2009) 304pp.  $39.99 Eschewing the common focus of military history books on mere biographical history, this work serves as a particularly excellent example of a book written … Continue reading

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Hunt Janin with Ursula Carson, Mercenaries in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (Fields)

Hunt Janin with Ursula Carson Mercenaries in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (Macfarland, 2013) 220pp.  $39.95 Mercenaries in Medieval and Renaissance Europe by Hunt Janin with Ursula Carson is at best a problematic book. [1] The back of the book tells … Continue reading

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Martin J. Dougherty, The Wars Of The Roses: The Conflict That Inspired Game Of Thrones (Albright)

Martin J. Dougherty The Wars of the Roses: The Conflict that Inspired Game of Thrones (Amber, 2015) 226pp.  $34.95 The subtitle of this book gives away its intent, even though there is a disclaimer pointing out that this book has … Continue reading

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Ian Stuart Kelly, Echoes of Success: Identity and the Highland Regiments (Ditcham)

Ian Stuart Kelly Echoes of Success: Identity and the Highland Regiments (Leiden: Brill, 2015) 259pp.  $142.00 Ian Stuart Kelly, Echoes of Success: Identity and the Highland Regiments, History of Warfare 104 (Brill 2015). xii + 259 pp. $142.00. Note- In … Continue reading

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Christine Shaw, Barons and Castellans: The Military Nobility of Renaissance Italy (Sposato)

Christine Shaw Barons and Castellans: The Military Nobility of Renaissance Italy (Leiden: Brill, 2015) 284pp.  $149.00 Christine Shaw’s Barons and Castellans is the first book-length English language study of the military nobility, an important but often overlooked segment of the … Continue reading

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Georgios Theotokis, The Norman Campaigns in the Balkans, 1081-1108 (Sposato)

Georgios Theotokis The Norman Campaigns in the Balkans, 1081-1108 (Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2014) 262pp.  $99.00 Georgios Theotokis’s The Norman Campaigns in the Balkans is an ambitious study of the clash between two distinct military cultures and their concomitant institutions, … Continue reading

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James Waterson, Sacred Swords: Jihad in the Holy Land, 1097-1271 (Albright)

James Waterson Sacred Swords: Jihad in the Holy Land, 1097-1271 (London, UK: Frontline Books, 2010) 206pp.  £19.99/$39.95 In Sacred Swords, the third work by historian James Waterson dealing with the time of the Crusades from the Muslim perspective, Waterson works … Continue reading

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Gregory I. Halfond (ed.), The Medieval Way Of War: Studies in Medieval Military History in Honor of Bernard S. Bachrach (Albright)

Gregory I. Halfond (ed.) The Medieval Way Of War: Studies in Medieval Military History in Honor of Bernard S. Bachrach (Ashgate, 2015) 332pp.  $129.95 The most remarkable aspect of this book is the level of sincere and heartfelt praise the authors … Continue reading

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Christopher Matthew, A Storm of Spears: Understanding the Greek Hoplite at War (Goodrich)

Christopher Matthew A Storm of Spears: Understanding the Greek Hoplite at War (Pen & Sword, 2012) 336pp.  £25.00 This work is one of great importance for the understanding of the ancient Greek hoplite and his gear and overall tactics. The … Continue reading

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Timothy Venning, An Alternative History of Britain: The Hundred Years War (Krug)

Timothy Venning An Alternative History of Britain: The Hundred Years War (Pen & Sword, 2013) 256pp.  £19.99/$39.95 The title of Venning’s series, An Alternative History of Britain, may be somewhat misleading; Venning’s goal is not to create some sort of … Continue reading

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Guillaume de Machaut, The Capture of Alexandria, trans. Janet Shirley, introduction and notes by Peter Edbury (Rogers)

Janet Shirley (tr.) Guillaume de Marchaut, The Capture of Alexandia (Ashgate, 2001) 254pp.  £79.00 The Capture of Alexandria comprises a blank verse translation of Guillaume de Machaut’s La prise d’Alexandre by Janet Shirley, an informative historical introduction and notes by the … Continue reading

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Savvas Kyriakidis, Warfare in Late Byzantium, 1204-1453. (May)

Savvas Kyriakidis Warfare in Late Byzantium, 1204-1453 (Brill, 2011) 254pp.  $144.00 The capture and sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by the Fourth Crusade, the Byzantine Empire split and went into a downward spiral. Although the Empire of Nicea (one of … Continue reading

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Noel Fallows, Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia (Muhlberger)

Noel Fallows Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia (Boydell & Brewer, 2011) 574pp.  $99.00 This substantial study might almost be called “The Encyclopedia of Iberian Jousting.”  It brings together a wide variety of evidence – textual, artistic and material – … Continue reading

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Jared Kirby (ed.), Italian Rapier Combat: Capo Ferro’s ‘Gran Simalcro’ (Hester)

Jared Kirby (ed.) Italian Rapier Combat: Capo Ferro’s ‘Gran Simalcro’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) 192pp.  $65.00 Slowly but surely the works of the great masters of swordplay are being translated into English for the benefit of a much wider readership. We … Continue reading

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Phillip Matyszak, Imperial General: The Remarkable Career of Petellius Cerialis (Roberts)

Phillip Matyszak Imperial General: The Remarkable Career of Petellius Cerialis (Pen and Sword Military, 2011) 188pp.  $39.95 If one were to create a list of the most researched periods in Roman history, the Year of the Four Emperors would receive … Continue reading

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Helen Nicholson and David Nicolle, God’s Warriors: Crusaders, Saracens and the Battle for Jerusalem (Klarner)

Helen Nicholson and David Nicolle God’s Warriors: Crusaders, Saracens and the Battle for Jerusalem (Osprey Publishing, 2005) 224pp.  $29.99 Helen Nicholson and David Nicolle have not written an introductory text.  The book is not large, but packs information into almost … Continue reading

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Chris Peers, Offa and the Mercian Wars: The Rise and Fall of the First Great English Kingdom (Wallace)

Chris Peers Offa and the Mercian Wars: The Rise and Fall of the First Great English Kingdom (Pen and Sword, 2012) 198pp.  $39.99 Chris Peers in Offa and the Mercian Wars writes an excellent popular military history of the medieval … Continue reading

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David Nicolle, The Fourth Crusade 1202-04: The Betrayal of Byzantium (Allen)

David Nicolle The Fourth Crusade 1202-04: The Betrayal of Byzantium (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2011) 96pp.  $19.95.  ISBN 9781849083195  The eleventh and twelfth century European Crusades to the Near East has been an increasingly discussed controversial topic, both among Historians as … Continue reading

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Carruthers, ed., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Illustrated and Annotated (Allen)

Bob Carruthers The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Illustrated and Annotated (Pen & Sword Books Ltd.: Barnsley, 2013) 372pp.  $24.95.  ISBN 9781781591482  Arguably the most important single work to our understanding of the Anglo-Saxon period of English history is The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Without … Continue reading

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Waterson, Defending Heaven: China’s Mongol Wars 1209-1370 (May)

James Waterson Defending Heaven: China’s Mongol Wars 1209-1370 (Frontline Books: 2013) XXXIV and 236 pp.  $31.59 Defending Heaven is James Waterson’s fourth book. Whereas the Mongols have made cameo appearances in his previous works, they take stage front and center … Continue reading

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Waterson, Defending Heaven: China’s Mongol Wars 1209-1370 (Claussen)

James Waterson Defending Heaven: China’s Mongol Wars 1209-1370 (Frontline Books: 2013) XXXIV and 236 pp.  $31.59 The Mongol conquest of China serves as a clear break in Chinese history, helping to determine the character of China’s final two imperial dynasties, … Continue reading

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Karatolios, Greek Fire and its contribution to Byzantine might (McMahon)

Konstantinos Karatolios (trans. by Leonard G. Meachim) Greek Fire and its contribution to Byzantine might (Lulu: 2014) 40pp.  $3.03. In the last years there have been an increasing number of works about medieval naval warfare that try to fill a … Continue reading

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John Hosler, John of Salisbury: Military Authority of the Twelfth-Century Renaissance (Nakashian)

John Hosler John of Salisbury: Military Authority of the Twelfth-Century Renaissance (Brill, 2013) 227pp.  $133.00.    In John of Salisbury: Military Authority of the Twelfth-Century Renaissance John Hosler seeks to raise Salisbury’s profile among historians of the High Middle Ages, … Continue reading

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Charles D. Stanton, Norman naval operations in the Mediterranean (Rodriguez)

In the last years there have been an increasing number of works about medieval naval warfare that try to fill a huge gap in the study of medieval military. The present volume is a welcome addition to this trend although it does not completely fit in it. Continue reading

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Hales — Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour (Walton)

Robert Hales Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion London: Robert Hales, 2013, 400 pp., £85 [note 1] ISBN 978-0-9926315-0-5 This gorgeous collector’s volume of arms and armour covering most of Asia is a stunning book. It includes numerous … Continue reading

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Venning – Alternative… Anglo-Saxon Age (Webb)

Timothy Venning An Alternative History of Britain: The Anglo-Saxon Age Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Military, 2013. 224 pp. $39.95. ISBN 978-1-78159-125-3. “Nothing was inevitable.” In this one simple statement, printed on the back cover of Dr. Venning’s latest … Continue reading

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Nicolle — Fall of English France 1449-1453 (Ditcham)

David Nicolle The Fall of English France 1449-1453 Campaign 241 (Oxford, Osprey, 2012).  96pp.   $19.95/£14.95.   ISBN 978-1-84908-616-5. English historiography of the Hundred Years War, at least at the popular level, has tended to lose interest in the conflict after the … Continue reading

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Carey/Allfree/Cairns — Warfare in the Medieval World (Bachrach)

 Brian Todd Carey, Joshua B. Allfree, and John Cairns Warfare in the Medieval World Pen & Sword, Barnsley-U.K., 2006. Pp. viii, 262. 47 Maps and 2 figure. Carey, assistant professor of history and military history in the American Military University … Continue reading

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King & Simpkin — England and Scotland at War (Nakashian)

Andy King and David Simpkin  (eds.) England and Scotland at War, c. 1296-c.1513 History of Warfare 78. Leiden: Brill, 2012.  ISBN. 9789004229822.  $220.00.  409 pp. Volume 78, England and Scotland at War c.1296-1513, of Brill’s History of Warfare series continues … Continue reading

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Trigg — Shame and Honor [TMR]

Stephanie Trigg Shame and Honor: A Vulgar History of the Order of the Garter Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. Pp. viii, 322. $55.00. ISBN-13: 9780812243918. Reviewed in The Medieval Review: TMR 13.03.21 Since at least Congenial Souls (2002), Stephanie Trigg has demonstrated a serious interest in … Continue reading

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Bom — Women in the Military Orders of the Crusades [TMR]

Myra Miranda Bom Women in the Military Orders of the Crusades The New Middle Ages. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Pp. xiv, 230. $85.00. ISBN-13: 9780230114135. Reviewed in The Medieval Review: TMR 13.03.15 The topic of women’s participation in the military orders is one which … Continue reading

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Nicolle — European Medieval Tactics (2) (Fields)

David Nicolle European Medieval Tactics (2): New Infantry, New Weapons 1260-1500 Elite189 (Osprey, 2012) 64pp $18.95 978-1-84908-739-1 David Nicolle’s book European Medieval Tactics (2): New Infantry, New Weapons 1260-1500 is from Osprey Publishing in the United Kingdom.  Some additional illustration … Continue reading

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Turbull, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Nakashian)

Stephen Turbull Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Leadership, Strategy, Conflict, Command 6 (Osprey 2010) 64pp.  $18.95.  ISBN 9781846039607  Stephen Turnbull contributes an effective and enlightening look at the career of Hideyoshi Toyotomi in the sixth installment of Osprey’s Command series.  The series, with … Continue reading

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Capwell — The Noble Art of the Sword (Mondschein)

Tobias Capwell The Noble Art of the Sword: Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Europe London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2012. 264 pp., 150 illustrations. GB£30/US$60. ISBN 978 0 900785 43 6 Wallace Collection curator Tobias Capwell’s gorgeous and well-conceived The Noble … Continue reading

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Potter — Monarchs of the Renaissance (Albright)

Philip J. Potter Monarchs of the Renaissance: The Lives and Reigns of 42 European Kings and Queens Jefferson, South Carolina: McFarland, 2012. 351pp. $40.00. ISBN 0-7864-6806-5. On the back cover of this book, there is a quotation that is belied … Continue reading

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Bysted et al. (eds.) — Jerusalem in the North (Albright)

A. Bysted, K. V. Jensen, C.S. Jensen, J. Lind (eds.) Jerusalem in the North:  Denmark and the Baltic Crusades, 1100-1522 Outremer. Studies in the Crusades and the Latin East 1 (Turnhout, Belg.: Brepols, 2012).  xiv+393pp. ISBN: 978-2-503-52325-5. According to the authors of … Continue reading

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Reid, Battles of the Scottish Lowlands (Manning)

Stuart Reid Battles of the Scottish Lowlands Battlefield Britain series (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2004). 160 pp. £11.99. ISBN 184415078X. In Battles of the Scottish Lowlands, Stuart Reid offers a sweeping survey of battles and campaigns occurring around Stirling over … Continue reading

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Lambert — Shipping the Medieval Military

Craig Lambert Shipping the Medieval Military Boydell Press, 2011. 256 pp. $90.00 USD. ISBN 978-1843836544. A perusal of the Cumulative Bibliography of Medieval Military History and Technology, its updates, the International Medieval Bibliography and other military history bibliographies will demonstrate … Continue reading

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Allmand — The De Re Militari of Vegetius [H-Net review]

An H-Net review from H-Soz-u-Kult, in German, has just been posted: Christopher Allmand. The De Re Militari of Vegetius: The Reception, Transmission and Legacy of a Roman Text in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 450 S. ISBN 978-1-107-00027-8. — reviewed … Continue reading

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Multi-volume review of books on medieval warfare

A multi-book essay review by Sean McGlynn has appeared in the European Review of History/Revue europeenne d’histoire 20.1 (2013): 153-159.  For those who have institutional access, you should be able to link to it here.  The books reviewed en masse are Medieval Warfare 1000–1300, ed. … Continue reading

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Nicolle — Cross & Crescent in the Balkans (Goodrich)

David Nicolle Cross & Crescent in the Balkans: The Ottoman Conquest of Southeastern Europe Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Military, 2010. 256 pp. ISBN: 9781844159543 Dr. David Nicolle is perhaps best known as the prolific author of many of the … Continue reading

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Tondro — Superheroes of the Round Table (Cueva)

Jason Tondro Superheroes of the Round Table: Comics Connections to Medieval and Renaissance Literature Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2011. 248 pp. 68 ill. $40.00. ISBN 978-0-7864-6068-7. There is no doubt that Jason Tondro’s Superheroes of the Round Table: … Continue reading

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TMR 12.06.10 Bagge, et al., Feudalism (Brown)

Sverre Bagge, Michael H. Gelting, and Thomas Lindkvist (eds.) Feudalism: New Landscapes of Debate. The Medieval Countryside 5. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011. Pp. 232. 80 Euros. ISBN: 978-2-503-53158- 8. Reviewed by Elizabeth A. R. Brown The City University of New York, Emerita (earbrown160@aol.com) Available … Continue reading

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Purton — History of the Early Medieval Siege c.450-1220 (Eads)

Peter Purton A History of the Early Medieval Siege c.450-1220. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2009. Pp. xxvii+505.  ISBN 978-1-84383-448-9. As the date range in the title implies, this book is only half of the author’s history of medieval siege warfare.  … Continue reading

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Kyriakidis — Warfare in Late Byzantium, 1204-1453 (May)

Savvas Kyriakidis Warfare in Late Byzantium, 1204-1453 History of Warfare, vol. 67. Leiden: Brill, 2011.  254 pp.  $144.  ISSN: 1385-7827 The capture and sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by the Fourth Crusade, the Byzantine Empire split and went into a … Continue reading

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TMR 12.06.08 Dass, The Deeds of the Franks (Throop)

Nirmal Dass (ed. and trans.), The Deeds of the Franks and other Jerusalem-bound Pilgrims: The Earliest Chronicle of the First Crusades. Lanham, MD:  The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2011. Pp. 154 pages. $24.95. ISBN-13: 9781442204980.  Reviewed by Susanna A. Throop, Ursinus College <sthroop@ursinus.edu> Available at The … Continue reading

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Curry and Bell (eds.) — Journal of Medieval Military History 9 (Mondschein)

Anne Curry and Adrian R. Bell (eds.) Journal of Medieval Military History IX: Soldiers, Weapons and Armies in the Fifteenth Century Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer. xiii+199 pp. £60.00/$99 ISBN 1843836688 The fifteenth century is a critical period not only for … Continue reading

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Fallows — Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia (Muhlberger)

Noel Fallows Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2011, 574pp. US$99. ISBN 978 1 84383 594 3 This substantial study might almost be called “The Encyclopedia of Iberian Jousting.”  It brings together a wide variety of … Continue reading

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TMR 12.06.05 Rubenstein, Armies of Heaven (France)

Rubenstein, Jay. Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for the Apocalypse. New York: Basic Books, 2011. Pp. xiv, 402. $29.99. ISBN-13: 978-0-465-01929-8.  Reviewed by John France, United States Military Academy, West Point <John.France@usma.edu> Available at The Medieval Review 12.06.05

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