‘Marlborough at War with the King’ – a new book reveals town’s pivotal role in the English Civil War
Marlborough’s defeat by the Royalists in the Civil War of 1642 will be re-enacted on July 27 and 28 by the English Civil War Society. A new book - ‘Marlborough at War with the King’ tells the story of this bloody battle.
The book is the result of a collaboration between Nick Baxter, a local historian, Sara Holden and illustrator Chantal Bourgonje.
Sara, who majored in History at college in the United States, told Marlborough.news: “At the time of the last re-enactment in 2014 I looked for a book about Marlborough in the Civil War for my grandchild. There wasn’t one. So we decided to write our own.”
Nick Baxter explained, “The book is a work of historical fiction. However, wherever possible it is based on accurate historic detail. There had to be a little bit of licence in order to build a story that would appeal to young people.
“Marlborough was at the centre of the English Revolution. It held a very important pivotal role. The Royalists wanted to show what would happen to a town if it resisted the King. It was made an example of.
“Much of the research was found in books in the library at The Merchant’s House. Most was full of bias, for example, Edward Hyde, a Royalist, who wrote ‘History of the Great Rebellion’ described Marlborough as containing ‘most notoriously discontented inhabitants full of malice.’”
‘Marlborough at War with the King’ is skilfully illustrated by Chantal Bourgonje. Chantal also carried out a great deal of research to ensure her characters were wearing historically accurate clothing.
Thanks to financial support from the Marlborough History Society and the Hamilton Trust copies of the book are being offered free of charge to local schools. The book is also available for sale at St. Peter’s Church and The White Horse Bookshop.
Although the book is designed to appeal to young readers, the authors believe that it contains such a wealth of historical detail it will also appeal to adults.
Nick hopes the book “will enthral and inspire people to want to uncover the real story of the history of their town.”