Saturday, October 11, 2008

A worthy cause...

Commander of the Anglo-Allied army in the Seven Years War,
Prinz Ferdinand of Brunswick

I would assume that almost everyone who checks out this blog has an interest in the 18th C. military history in general. While my main focus is the War of the Austrian Succession, my interest in the era is by no means limited to that struggle, and I voraciously read anything on the earlier War of the Spanish Succession or the later Seven Years War as well.

One of the best books ever written on the latter conflict was the comprehensive campaign history by Sir Reginald Savory; "
His Britannic Majesty's Army of the Seven Years War".

First published back in 1967, it remains the best- indeed pretty much the only- in-depth treatment of the campaigns fought in the west between the French army one one hand, and the Anglo-Hanoverian army with its various German allies on the other.

I had the good fortune to read this book back in the 1980's, as they had a copy in the University of British Columbia's main library when I was a student there. In a recent online search, I see now that the copy has since been "lost" according to university records. A bummer, and with hindsight I regret not being the lowly thief who carried out the crime! A second-hand copy of the Athena Books reprint is hard to find and expensive, with any copy of the original Oxford edition selling anywhere from $500- $1,000 dollars. Ouch...

So on to the point; Nigel Billington is looking into the possibility of a new reprint of this invaluable book, and wants to see how much interest there is out there in such a project.

If anyone is interested, and haven't yet heard about it through TMP or the Emperor vs. Elector site, I urge you to support the project so that one of the staples of the literature on the SYW can again see the light of day to a general readership, and perhaps recruit future enthusiasts to this fascinating era- as it did with me back in university.


Bluebear Jeff said...


I was excited about the prospect too . . . which is why I posted it on the "Emperor vs Elector" site . . . but as much publicity as possible is good . . . too bad that this possibility comes during these economically uncertain times instead of, say, a year ago.

By the way, I love the portrait of Prinz Ferdinand.

-- Jeff

Robert said...

Yes, the timing could have been better- but hindsight is 20/20, as they say!

Speaking for myself, this would be a priority purchase even if it meant giving up on some other pleasure- and even the occasional necessity- to obtain a copy! But no doubt there will be some people out there for whom this is no time to be dropping 50 quid or so on books. Fortuna Rota...

I loved that picture of Prince Ferdinand too. It's unusual to see him out of Prussian uniform, and you've got to love those ermine cuffs!

Frankfurter said...

I do hope that an affordable edition does get published soon ... inter library loan can be stretched only so far!

BTW, glad to see another K.K. fan active!