Novelty and Change

The weather is rubbish: it doesn't feel right painting in the summer, but it is much too cold and wet to go on a big ECWtravelogue day out... so expect rather a lot of book related posts of the coming weeks.

Helion curate a number of regular conferences linked to their extensive book series. I was lucky to attend the most recent Century of the Soldier conference as a guest of series editor Charles Singleton. The lectures given by the speakers are collated and published  by Helion with the subtitle of "Proceedings of the... Helion and Company 'Century of the Soldier' Conference".

I must be clear and point out that Helion sent me this copy for review.

So, what is this? A nice souvenir for everyone who attended? Or the 'handouts' for everyone who couldn't be bothered taking notes? If you didn't attend, is it worth splashing the cash?

Clearly, at a very facetious level it is both a nice souvenir, and the 'handouts' from the lectures, for those who attended. Hardly worth a print run if that is its primary aim, as there were only about a hundred attendees. So there's clearly a wider market.

Okay, the conference was a blatant marketing opportunity for Helion to showcase authors and contents of recent/forthcoming additions to their Century of the Soldier series. And why not? Helion are commissioning and publishing some very useful titles.

Andrew Abram's "Dragoons and Dragoon Operations in the British Civil Wars 1638-1653" had just been published; David Flintham's "The Town Well Fortified, The Fortresses of the Civil Wars in Britain, 1639 - 1660" and Pádraig Lenihan's "Raw Generals and Green Soldiers, Catholic Armies in Ireland 1641-43" would be published shortly after the conference.

Ed Furgol's lecture and appendices giving a taster of  "His Majesty's Loyal Subjects: The Scottish Royalist Armies of the British Civil Wars, 1639-1655" co-authored with Andrew Lind. Andrew Robertshaw's lecture on Marmaduke Rawdon being another taster for a forthcoming Helion title.

Whilst I can't comment upon the previous "...Proceedings..." volumes, as I haven't seen them or attended the conferences; this is excellent. 

I was furiously scribbling notes during the conference: 'fortifications', 'Stow-on-the-Wold' grabbing my ECW travelogue attention, but I was particularly interested in hearing what Pádraig Lenihan and Ed Furgol had to share. Both the Irish Confederate Armies and Montrose's Royalist Armies are very under represented with published material, coupled with the fact that I was at the planning stage of my Irish Confederate Army - I was on the look out for some 'pointers'.

This in no way diminishes the quality or content of the other lectures, just that those four lectures were of special interest to me at the time of the conference. 

Now with the 'handouts' I can give 'Rawdon' and 'dragoon operations in the Welsh Marches' my full attention. As well as reading Peter Wilson's keynote lecture that I missed (due to an aggressive peacock and a Sunday driver bringing a narrow country road to a near standstill).

I have of course given the whole volume a disservice. These aren't just the 'lecture handouts'. Copious copies of the illustrative slides used, references cited, and very useful appendices covering Montrose's Armies units by general, and orders of battle.

I own rather a lot of the titles in the Century of the Soldier series, until now I have given "...the Proceedings..." volumes a wide berth. I think that might be changing over the coming months.

I can cope with the hardbacks being a slightly different size,
but this is just wrong (a very first world problem I know).

It isn't all rosy in the garden when it comes to "Novelty and Change". It's the wrong size! A problem shared with the reprint of "To Settle The Crown", and don't get me started on "Reconstructing the New Model Army volume 2"...

Too short, too deep! Aargh!

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