Luckily I had been to the local library the day before I went into hospital. (I also changed the sheets on the beds and did all the washing and ironing so I didn't have to worry about that.) I had taken out some rather scholarly history books that could be read a bit at a time. Great for lying in bed doing nothing.
A little while ago I had read Wolf Hall which was about Thomas Cromwell and this had tweaked my interest in Oliver Cromwell, who was a descendant. But, I wanted some genuine facts, not just a novel about the era. This book, The English Civil War at first-hand, is made up of mainly Primary Source material, which can be quite dull, but it this case was fascinating, and was one of the reasons I borrowed it.
This was such a bloody, difficult period in English history that I think a lot of people just want to forget it but it also lays the scene for all those people who migrated to the USA and I have often wondered why there are so many similarities yet just as many differences between countries that were originally settled by English migrants. ( In the case of the USA and Australia I have come to the conclusion it was another 150 years of history between the time of settlement. )
Another reason I was interested to read the book was that a friend from Bulgaria told me many years ago that in Communist Russia the English Civil War was a central part of the school curriculum, it was just a few lines in my history books. I know many of my ancestors fought on the Round-head side, a couple were Majors in the new army, yet others fought on the Royalist side. Some of their attitudes and way of thinking have passed down through time, without any reference to their source.
The book has many woodcuts from the time and I would love to do something with them.
And having read the terrible and the good about Oliver Cromwell I think I need to read a lot more about him. I agree with one of the commentators of his time when he wrote,
"he was a bad brave man".