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Wednesday, 20 June 2018


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It's a great story. The American Revolution was a very English revolution with the themes of the English civil wars running through it. It involved two conflicting views of what it meant to be English: proud believer in individual rights and/or loyal subject of the King. What to do when those come into conflict? George Washington, let us not forget, had fought against the French as an officer in the colonial forces and very much wanted to be an officer in the regular British forces. Imagine how history would have changed if the British Army had taken him in? His elder brother, Laurence, had been a British officer in the war against Spain and participated in the invasion of Cartagena and other Spanish colonies. The Washington's were very English, and George only reluctantly turned against the King.

If you want geographic confusion wait until you read about the US Civil War. Gotta have a map next to you.

'Dippers', thanks for your comment and if you have a recommendation for a good history of the War of Independence I would be glad to hear it!

David, allow me to help out.

The book you require is: A Few Bloody Noses by Robert Harvey. It is one of those histories that I have awarded the supreme accolade of 'unputdownable.' It strips away all the romance and the mythology and cuts straight to the chase. In places, I found myself yelling at it. How on earth could we Brits have been so incompetent? We truly deserved to lose, and for any Americans reading this, I'm bloody glad we did! The link follows.

P.S. I have just finished an absolute corker of a novel, An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris. To describe it as a novel is a bit of a misnomer. It is about the Dreyfuss Affair, and though it is in novel form, it sticks closely to the facts. All the characters (even the minor ones) are historical and I can only say that it gripped me from the very first page. The description of Dreyfus's public humiliation when he was drummed out of the French Army, and his subsequent incarceration on Devil's Island makes for painful reading.

Merde alors! Link below.

Richard, first of all, good to hear from you again! Secondly, thanks for that book tip, it will be my next purchase. Finally, I beat you to it for the Robert Harris novel on Dreyfus for which I offered high praise last October.

The American Revolution was a very English revolution with the themes of the English civil wars running through it.

Thanks Dip. I am pleased that someone expresses the same opinion I had put forward to one of Duffers' previous articles re the revolution/rebellion. It has always seemed to me another of those convulsions in English/British history advancing the concepts of individual freedom [and responsibility] which we have come to think of as "normal". Something it certainly is not when the world outside the Anglosphere is considered.

We down here in Oz have much to be thankful for that our institutions have used both the concepts of Parliamentary Democracy as illustrated in the Westminster system and a careful selection from the US Constitution in the framing of our own.

Here ends my little rant

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