Books and online sources

Books and online sources recommended by ECW re-enactors. Please let me know if you have any particular favorites not listed.

NB. Some books are now out of print.  ISBN is usually the latest edition.

Good places to search for out of print books: Bookfinder, Alibris, and of course eBay!


British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate 1638 – 1660. Extensive history resource including all aspects of the Civil Wars and Interregnum. Includes biographies of those involved. (Online)

British History Online. A digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. (Online)

Internet Archive. Includes extensive library of out of copyright texts, amongst other items. (Online)


Weather ‘records’ for the 17th Century (Online)

By the Sword Divided: Eyewitness Accounts of the English Civil War, John Adair. (1983) Sutton Publishing Ltd; New edition (April 1998) ISBN 0750918586

Going to the Wars: Experience of the British Civil Wars, 1638-51,Charles Carlton. Routledge; New edition (Dec 1993) ISBN 0415103916

Diary of the Marches of the Royal Army During the Great Civil War; Kept by Richard Symonds (Online)

Dealing in Death: The Arms Trade and the British Civil Wars, Peter Edwards. Sutton Publishing (2000) ISBN 978-0750914963

Vexed and Troubled Englishmen, 1590-1642, Carl Bridenbaugh. Oxford University Press; New edition (1976) ISBN 0195020200

The Tudor and Stuart Town, 1530-1688, J Barry. Longman (Nov 1990) ISBN 0582051304

A History of the Scottish People, 1560-1830, T. C. Smout. Fontana Press; New Ed (Aug 2011)ISBN 0006860273

Scotland Before the Industrial Revolution: An Economic and Social History, c1050-c1750, I. Whyte. Longman (Jun 1995) ISBN 058205091X

Contrasting Communities: English Villages in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth CenturiesMargaret Spufford. Cambridge University Press; New Ed (Dec 1979) ISBN 0521297486 (Google Books)

Hubbub: Filth, Noise and Stench in England, 1600-1770, Emily Cockayne. Yale University Press  (Mar 2008) ISBN 0300137567

Did They Wash in Those Days? Personal hygiene, cleanliness and washing in the 14th to 17th Centuries, Jane Huggett. Stuart Press (2000) ISBN 1858041619

English Family Life, 1576-1716: An Anthology from Diaries, Ralph Houlbrooke. Blackwell Pub (1989) ISBN 0631148523

The Great Reclothing of Rural England: Petty Chapmen and Their Wares in the Seventeenth Century, Margaret Spufford. Hambledon Press (July 1984) ISBN 0907628478 (Google Books)

Popular Culture in Seventeenth Century England 1550-1750Barry Reay. Longman (July 1998) ISBN 0582489547

Cheap Print and Popular Piety, 1550-1640, Tessa Watts.  Cambridge University Press (Oct 1993) ISBN 0521458277 (Google Books)

The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (1972), Christopher Hill. ISBN 0140137327

Packhorse, wagon and post: land carriage and communications under the Tudors and Stuarts, John E. Crofts. Routledge & Kegan Paul PLC; First Edition (Nov 1967) ISBN 0710045662

The Farming and Memorandum Books of Henry Best of Elmswell, 1642: With a Glossary and Linguistic Commentary by Peter McClure (Records of Social and Economic History), edited by Donald Woodward, OUP/British Academy (Nov 1984) ISBN 0197260292 (1857 online edition is known to contain a large number of transcription errors so is not recommended).

Food, Energy and the Creation of Industriousness: Work and Material Culture in Agrarian England, 1550-1780, Craig Muldrew. Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (Feb 2011) ISBN 0521881854 (Google Books)

A history of agriculture and prices in England, from the year after the Oxford parliament (1259) to the commencement of the continental war (1793), James E. Thorold Rogers et. al. (Online) Volume 1 (1259-1400), Volume 2 (1259-1400), Volume 3 (1401-1582), Volume 4 (1401-1582), Volume 5 (1583-1702), Volume 6 (1583-1702).


Wanton Wenches and Wayward Wives, G R Quaife. Croom Helm; 1st Edition (July 1979) ISBN 0709900627

Common bodies: women, touch and power in seventeenth-century England, Laura Gowing. Yale University Press (2003) ISBN 0300100965

Working life of women in the seventeenth century (1919), Alice Clark. (Online)

Women In England 1500-1760: A Social History, Anne Laurence. Phoenix; New Ed (Oct 2002) ISBN 1842126229

Unbridled Spirits: Women of the English Revolution, 1640-60, Stevie Davies. Women’s Press Ltd,The; 1st Edition (May 1998) ISBN 0704350823

Women All on Fire, Alison Plowden. The History Press Ltd; New Ed (Nov 2004) ISBN 0750937653

The Weaker Vessel, Antonia Frazer. Phoenix; reprint edition (Aug 2002) ISBN 1842126350


The Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642, Lawrence Stone.  Routledge; New edition (Oct 1986) ISBN 0415109256

The English Revolution, 1640, Christopher Hill. (1940, 3rd ed. 1955), ISBN 0-85315-044-3 (1987 reprint) (On-line text at Marxists.org)

The Century of Revolution, 1603–1714, Christopher Hill. (1961, 2nd. ed. 1980), ISBN 0415267390

The English Bible and the Seventeenth-Century Revolution (1992), Christopher Hill. ISBN 0140159908

Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution (Revisited)Christopher Hill. (1965, rev. 1997), ISBN 0199246475

Religion And The Rise Of Capitalism, R H Tawney. Read Books (Nov 2006)ISBN 1406724181


The Noble Revolt: The Overthrow of Charles I,  John Adamson.  Phoenix; New Ed (Feb 2009) ISBN 0753818787

Stuart England, J. P. Kenyon. Penguin Books Ltd; New ed of 2 Revised ed (Mar 1990) ISBN 0140137688

Charles I. in 1646. Letters of King Charles the First to Queen Henrietta Maria (Online)

The letters and speeches of Oliver Cromwell (Online)

Oliver Cromwell Samuel Rawson Gardiner (Online)

God’s Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English RevolutionChristopher Hill. (1970), ISBN 0140137114

Oliver CromwellC. V. Wedgwood. (1939) Corgi Books; New Ed (Aug 1975) ISBN 0552098817

Cromwell, Our Chief Of Men, Antonia Frazer. Phoenix; New Ed (Dec 2002) ISBN 0753813319

Rupert of the Rhine, Maurice Ashley. HarperCollins Distribution Services (Aug 1976) ISBN 0246107936

The Campaigns of Montrose, Stuart Reid. Mercat Press; 1st Edition (Oct 1990) ISBN 0901824925

‘Black Tom’: Sir Thomas Fairfax and the English Revolution, Andrew Hopper. Manchester University Press; illustrated edition (April 2007) ISBN 0719071097

The Tyrannicide BriefGeoffrey Robertson. Chatto & Windus (Oct 2005) ISBN 0701176024

Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil WarJohn Stubbs. Viking; First edition (Feb 2011) ISBN 0670917532

King’s Servants: Civil Service of Charles I, 1625-42G E Aylmer. Routledge & Kegan Paul PLC; 2nd Revised edition (Dec 1974) ISBN 0710078943


‘A plan of the City and suburbs of London as fortified by order of Parliament in the years 1642 & 1643’ (Online)

The civil war in Hampshire (1642-45) and the story of Basing House   G.N. Godwin (Online)

Love Loyalty – The Close and Perilous Siege of Basing House 1643 -1645Wilfrid Emberton. (1972) ISBN 0950252409

The Civil War in Hampshire, Tony Maclachlan. Rowanvale Books (Oct 1999) ISBN 0953078531

Dorset in the Civil War 1625-1665, Tim Goodwin. Dorset Books (Nov 1996) ISBN 1871164265

The Civil War in Leicestershire and Rutland, Phillip Andrew. Scaysbrook Melon Publications (1996) ISBN 1900533006

A general plague of madness: The Civil Wars in Lancashire, Steven Bull. Carnegie Publishing Ltd (Nov 2008)ISBN 1859361919

A Land Afflicted: Scotland and the Covenanter Wars, 1638-90, Raymond Campbell Paterson. John Donald Publishers Ltd (Aug 1998)ISBN 0859764869

Edgehill 1642, Peter Young. W&N; New Ed (Dec 1995) ISBN 0900075341

Edgehill: The Battle Reinterpreted, Christopher L. Scott et.al. Leo Cooper Ltd (Feb 2006) ISBN 1844152545

Naseby: The Decisive Campaign, Glen Foard. Leo Cooper Ltd; Illustrated edition (July 2004) ISBN 1844151328

Bloody Preston: Battle of Preston, 1648, Stephen Bull. Carnegie Publishing Ltd (April 1997)ISBN 1859360416


(Listed in increasing depth/length)

Timeline of the First and Second Civil Wars (Online)

The English Civil War explained in less time than it takes to drink a pint (slowly)……. (Online)

1066 and all That: Ch 35 ‘Wrong but Wromantic, Right and Repulsive’W. C. Sellar & R. J. Yeatman. Methuen; A Memorable History of England edition (Sept 1998) ISBN 0413772705 (Questia) (Humour)

Death Destruction and a Packet of Peanuts: A Rollicking Pub Crawl Through Four Years Of The English Civil War, Chris Pascoe. Portico (May 2009) ISBN 1906032629 (Humour)

Civil War, Taylor Downing & Maggie Millman. Parkgate Books; New Ed (Feb 1998) ISBN 1855855755

The English Civil War Day by Day, Wilfrid Emberton. Sutton Publishing Ltd; illustrated edition (Nov 1995) ISBN 0750909595

This War Without an Enemy: History of the English Civil Wars, Richard Ollard. Fontana Press; New Ed (Nov 1989) ISBN 000686189X

The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1638-60, John Kenyon & Jane Ohlmeyer.  Oxford University Press; First Edition (Sept 1998) ISBN 019866222X

The English Civil War: A Military History of Three Civil Wars, 1642-51, Peter Young & Richard Holmes.  Wordsworth Editions Ltd (Oct 1999) ISBN 1840222220

The English Civil War, 1642-1651: An Illustrated Military History, Philip Haythornwaite. Caxton Editions; New Ed  (Jan 2000) ISBN 1860198600

The English Civil Wars 1640 – 1660Blair Worden. Phoenix (Jan 2010) ISBN 0753826917

The Civil War: The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660, Trevor Royle. Abacus; New edition edition (Jan 2005) ISBN 0349115648

The King’s Peace, 1637-1641, C. V. Wedgwood. (1955) (part one of “The Great Rebellion”) Penguin Books Ltd; New edition (July 2001) ISBN 0141390735

The King’s War, 1641-1647, C. V. Wedgwood.(1958) (part two of “The Great Rebellion”) Penguin Books Ltd; New edition (July 2001) ISBN 0141390727

The Trial of Charles IC. V. Wedgwood. (also published as A Coffin for King Charles) (1964) (part three of “The Great Rebellion”) Penguin Books Ltd; New edition (Sept 2001) ISBN 0141390743

Cromwell’s army : a history of the English soldier during the Civil Wars, the Commonwealth and the ProtectorateC. H. Firth (Online)

The Regimental History of Cromwell’s Army, Charles Firth & Godfrey Davis. Scholars Book Shelf; Reprint edition (Jun 2006) ISBN 1601050194

History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War, 1603-1642 by Samuel Rawson Gardiner(Online) Volume I (1603-1607), Volume II (1607-1616), Volume III (1616-1621), Volume IV (1621-1623), Volume V (1623-1625), Volume VI (1625-1629), Volume VII (1629-1635), Volume VIII (1635-1639), Volume IX (1639-1641), Volume X (1641-1642)

History of the Great Civil War, 1642-1649 by Samuel Rawson Gardiner(Online) Volume I (1642-1644), Volume II (1644-1647), Volume III (1645-1647), Volume IV (1647-1649)


History of the commonwealth and protectorate, 1649-1660 by Samuel Rawson Gardiner(Online) Volume I (1649-1651), Volume 2 (1651-1654), Volume 3 (1654-1656), Volume 3 Supplementary Chapter (1654-1656)

The last years of the Protectorate 1656-1658, by C. H. Firth(Online) Volume I (1656-1657), Volume II (1657-1658).


The Thirty Years’ War, C. V. Wedgwood. (1938) New York Review of Books (May 2005) ISBN 1590171462

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