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214 Reviews fingernails often give the appearance of a courtesan' (p. xviii). Yet it was this courtesan-like (Laura) rather than Madonna-like (Beatrice) w o m a n that made so many poets all over Europe weep, yeam, and hope in vain for three centuries. Zdenko Zlatar Department ofHistory The University ofSydney Phillips, Gervase, The Anglo-Scots Wars, 1513-1550: A Military History (Warfare in History), Woodbridge, Suffolk, Boydell Press, 1999; cloth; pp. xvi, 291; R R P £40, US$75; ISBN 0-85115-746-7. Flodden, Solway Moss, Pinkie: these are names which echo through the historiography of Henrician and Edwardian England, usually with connotations of decisive and almost inevitable victory over an 'old enemy' whose resources and military capacity were increasingly out of step with the new-style warfare of the sixteenth century. However, despite the frequency with which these battles are mentioned, most students (and even scholars) of Tudor England know relatively little about them. In large measure, this reflects the fact that military history has been deeply unfashionable for many years, leaving scholars dependent upon old and increasingly inaccessible periodical literature for their understanding of these events. Gervase Phillips has been sufficiently 'old-fashioned' to seek to remedy this situation by writing The Anglo-Scots Wars. In many ways, this is indeed a genuinely - and, at times, trenchantly - old-fashioned book. Following a long chapter surveying the composition, equipment and nature of the opposing armies, it proceeds to offer a clear and straightforward narrative ofthe various campaigns which occurred along the Anglo-Scottish border during thefirsthalf of the sixteenth century. This approach reflects both the strengths and weaknesses of 'traditional' military history. Devoting a chapter to each successive campaign ensures narrative clarity and makes it easy for readers to grasp the immediate circumstances surrounding specific events, such as the battle ofFlodden in 1513. O n the negative side, this traditional structure places great emphasis upon maps to illustrate the movement of the rival forces and tends to crowd out relevant information which is not directly related to the action at thefront.This book unfortunately suffers from very poor maps, which is a critical failing in this sort Reviews 215 of work. The footnotes and bibliography also indicate that the author's grasp of the historiography of non-military aspects of Anglo-Scottish relations in this period (hardly a large corpus of work) is not always complete. There is no mention at all of Patrick Hotle's book on Anglo-Scottish relations in the years leading up to the Rough Wooing, for instance. Despite such flaws (especially the dearth of adequate campaign maps), this book must surely become the standard reference work on these wars. However, this book also has a broader significance which should commend it to scholars whose interests lie beyond Tudor England. In addition to describing the Anglo-Scottish wars, Phillips uses this book to make a useful and telling contribution to the question of whether or not Europe experienced a 'military revolution' in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. This proposition has become something of a commonplace in histories of early m o d e m Europe, initially because of the arguments of Michael Roberts in the 1950s and, more recently, because of the impressive scholarship of Geoffrey Parker. Parker's work has engendered an increasingly sophisticated debate about the nature of war-making in Early M o d e m Europe. In his opening chapter and thoughout the remainder of the book, Phillips places himself clearly in the 'anti-revolution' camp, making a number of telling points which chime with this reviewer's own perceptions about Tudor England. In contrast to frequent assertions about the isolation and backwardness of warfare in the British Isles, Phillips demonstrates that the Anglo-Scottish wars of the sixteenth century fully reflected the same sorts of developments which were occurring at the same time in supposedly more 'advanced' parts of Europe. Scotland's defeat at Flodden, in fact, can be seen as a result ofits almost excessive early commitment to military modernisation. The dominating high-ground which the Scottish army occupied at the start of the battle, ironically, nullified its new battery offieldartillery, while Scotland's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 214-216
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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