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Short notices •, ge Blon Gun B'zer by a rival Tibetan general in 866. In the intervening two and a half centuries, a dynamic Tibetan empire under the Yarlung dynasty, from Khri sron brtsan (614-41) to K r i W dum brtsan (838^12), established and extended Tibetan power to challenge the Chinese in the east, the Uighurs in the north, and the Muslims in the West. To almost everyone this is unknown history and it is all the more fascinating for that. This is a book that is not easy to use. In spite of the author's efforts to assist by providing specialist appendices on five topics, a table of rulers, a glossary, and asterisks in the text to facilitate access to explanations in the footnotes, most readers will still flounder in a sea of personal and place names. To some degree this is not the author's fault. There are simply too many names unfamiliar to most readers which cannot be avoided. However, in a paperback edition destined for the general public a separate annotated glossary of the major personal and place names would have been invaluable. So also would have been many more detailed maps. The two which are supplied are of very poor quality and are almost totally useless. These difficulties should not, however, dissuade anyone interested from dipping into this book. They will learn much that they did not know. John H. Pryor Department of History University of Sydney Carlton, Charles, Going to the wars: the experience of the British Civil Wars, 1638-1651, London and N.Y., Routledge, 1994; rpt; paper; pp. xii, 428; 22 illustrations; R.R.P. AUS$38.95. W e can welcome the appearance in paperback of Charles Carlton's study of the experience of the British Civil Wars. Sensitively written, deeply grounded in archival sources, and an impressive feat of organization, it analyses those wars from the total human perspective of the new military history. It is thus a moving memorial to the men, women, and children who found themselves caught up in civil conflict made more bitter by the ingredient of religion. It is all here: the hardship of campaigning, the horrors of battle and siege, wounds and death, the emancipation from provinciality and the commonplace, sex and plunder, love stories and the pain of separation for couples, and the effects on families, their lives, and the social order. Carlton chronicles the unsurpassable human drama and the intensity of experience which make war simultaneously so terrible and so 196 Short notices fascinating. It is a major merit of this book that the story is neither sanitised nor abstracted. The author is willing to generalize, but we meet real individuals and real experiences. Carlton acknowledges the inspiration of John Keegan, who supplies a Foreword, whose book 77ze face of battle was of course a pioneering work of the genre. The Civil Wars were the last, and probably the most important, full scale military conflict fought on British soil. They were also arguably the last of Europe's wars of religion. Carlton's account of them provides insights, and raises issues, which enable us to see their significance better. He is topical in treating the three kingdoms as essentially one theatre. Just as Scotland and Ireland had integral parts in the coming of war, they were undeniably bound up with its course and conduct. One might, however, query his view that the particularly bloodyfightingon the Celtic fringe was due to the distinguishing factor of religion. This was present in England, and race and culture cannot be underplayed. The book suggests an interesting personalization of the religious dimension for those who fought. God was never far away in their private prayers and accounts. But he was invoked as a companion, rather than as a symbol or pattern of doctrinal principles. H o w much ideological conflict do we imagine with hindsight and distance? H o w did it compose itself at the individual level? Carlton is surely right in understating the social impact of loss of life in these wars. This was a world in which people died often of plague and relatively young. H e is also perceptive...


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pp. 195-196
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