That’s it. I’m just going to say it. I love battle scenes. I have no idea why, but they make me mad with excitement. I want to grab a sword or a pistol (a doglock pistol, thank you) and just rush into the thick of it. On a fine horse, of course. Fine dresses and jewels? Not as exciting as buff coats and bandoliers. It doesn’t matter if the battle scene happens on the sea (Master and Commander), on a beach (Robin Hood), in the Hellmouth (Buffy), or even in this excellent YouTube video produced by the English Civil War Society about Wallingford, with its haunting music and wonderful timing.
Why do I love battle scenes? I haven’t a clue. I find myself lost in battle maps and troop movements like some women are drawn to a Tiffany display case. Is this a case of past life, or a life spent surrounded by boys and men? Given my penchant for action and adventure, the English Civil War is an endless source of fascination for me. Drawing room dramas, like Pride and Prejudice, have their well-deserved place, but the life and death struggle gives me an adrenaline rush. And throw in a romantic story, well…
I enjoyed watching the Wallingford reenactment so much, that I wanted to share it with you. August is looking up to be battle month, so let’s kick it off with the Siege of Wallingford. And because I’m equally obsessed with 17th Century history, you should know a little about this action (would you like broccoli with that cheese?).
Built during the 11th Century, Wallingford Castle was strategically situated along the Thames in Oxfordshire. At the start of the ECW, Wallingford became a Royalist garrison and critical to the defence of Oxford. The castle withstood a Parliamentary attack in 1645, but after a sixteen week siege in 1646, the garrison surrendered to General Thomas Fairfax. As per his playbook, Cromwell ordered the castle slighted in 1652. With Charles II exiled in France, and his support in England at an all-time low, destroying the castle to make it unserviceable for military use was a bit excessive, but that was Cromwell. Love him or hate him, he left nothing to chance.
Now for the feature film. Kick up your boots, break out a glass of sack and a dish of mutton. Enjoy!
If you’re still in the mood to watch more videos, do check out my collection of book trailers and fun videos (click here).
“Wallingford castle ruins” by Pitou250 – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wallingford_castle_ruins.jpg#/media/File:Wallingford_castle_ruins.jpg