Enfilade

New Book | Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat

Posted in books by Editor on January 14, 2013

In the book’s final chapter, Richard Johns, curator of prints and drawings at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, addresses, “‘The British Caesar’: John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and the Visual Arts.” From the publisher:

John Hattendorf, Augustus Veenendaal, and Rolof van Hövell tot Westerflier, eds., Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat (Zutphen: Karwansaray Publishers, 2012), 408 pages, ISBN: 978-9490258047, € 75.

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The subject of numerous books in English, Marlborough has typically been seen only in terms of British political and military history. In this book, twelve leading specialists of the period broaden the perspective by assessing Marlborough in the wider and more diverse contexts of the European situation, the common soldier in the British army, the complementary activities of navies, the differing perspectives of the Austrians, Dutch, French, and Germans as well as in the context of the British popular press and the visual arts.

John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, is perhaps now best known for his role in the War of the Spanish Succesion. His victories at battles such as Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenaarde, and Malplaquet have firmly established him as one of Britian’s greatest military heroes. His success also brought his family unprecedented wealth, power and influence. Physically handsome, he rose to power not only thanks to his military genius, but also his personal service as a very successful courtier. It was his interrelated personal, political, and family connections, combined with those his wife developed, that were the key elements in reaching and sustaining his positions of power. While the 1st Duke of Marlborough is firmly established in the British historical canon, far less has been said about him in a broader European context. Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat attempts to address this disparity through a series of articles writen by noted international historians and experts. In this new book, the Duke is not only examined from the perspective of his enemies and allies, but also for his influence on social, military, and art history as a whole.

Edited by John B. Hattendorf, Augustus J. Veenendaal and Rolof van Hövell tot Westerflier, Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat is lavishly illustrated with contemporary artwork and photographs of important places in Marlborough’s world. Each of its twelve chapters are dedicated to forming a complete but multi-faceted view of this important figure in European