Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
A compelling history of the bloody battle that ended Louis XIV's dream of European domination and changed the course of history
"Had it not been for Blenheim, all Europe might at this day suffer under the effect of French conquests resembling those of Alexander in extent and those of the Romans in durability." —Sir Edward Creasy, The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World
In 1704, the armies of the French king Louis XIV, undefeated for two generations, were poised to extend the French frontiers to the Rhine and install a French prince on the Spanish throne. But as French forces marched toward Vienna, allied armies under the command of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, and Prince Eugène of Savoy set out to oppose them. The two forces met at Blenheim, in Bavaria, and the French were utterly defeated, ending France's dream of European domination. Based on original sources, this page-turning narrative brings the battle to life, effortlessly moving from the deliberations of kings to the travails of the common foot soldier.
"Thoughtful, interesting, and well-written. . . . Spencer recovers an approach and authorial voice associated with Winston Churchill, whom indeed he quotes effectively and appropriately. . . . From the excellent scene-setting of the Prologue to the effective battle descriptions, which ably draw on the memoirs of the participants, Charles Spencer successfully combines narrative with analysis." —The Sunday Telegraph
"A remarkable debut . . . not to be missed." —Evening Standard
"Charles Spencer explores the decisive battle of Blenheim, the campaign that broke Louis XIV's domination of Europe and established the enduring reputation of the British redcoat . . . in this compelling, page-turning narrative . . . of a battle that changed the destiny of Europe." —Soldier
Historical Books John Wiley & Sons
, black & white illustrations
, black & white illustrations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The value of Spencer's Battle for Europe is in making the personality of Marlborough and the story of Blenheim accessible to the non-professional military history enthusiast. That's especially important here in the U.S., where outside of academia little is known or appreciated about the era of Louis XIV and his wars.
Like Lee, Marlborough reaches his peak in his fifties, old for a great general to do so. Like Scipio, his achievements stir petty jealousies and lead to intrigues that smear his reputation. Like Napoleon, he marches energetically and gives battle in textbook style: freezing the enemy's attention on fixed points, and just when the time is right, the decisive breakthrough.
All these things Spencer relates clearly and concisely. He can be forgiven for not turning over any new ground in Marlborough scholarship.
Other reviewers have noted that this is a well-written book, and it is. Having recently finished Winston Spencer Churchill's much longer life of Marlborough, it seemed to me that Mr. Spencer relied heavily on Winston Churchill's prior work for facts, and sources. However, this may be unfair since both Mr. Spencer and Mr. Winston Churchill meticulously mined and primarily relied on the private material at Blenheim Castle, and as long as both of them are honest and through, it would be more surprising if their tales differed, rather than the reverse.
Mr. Spencer does not feel as great a need as Mr. Winston Churchill did to defend the reputation of his famous forebear. These slights of earlier, also partisan, writers have in general stood neither the test of time, nor in particular, the exquisitely detailed, point-by-point, refutation contained in Mr. Winston Churchill's biography of the same man. If you have been a very active general, and John Churchill was very active...
I realised that the War of the Austrian succession was a gap in my historical knowledge. The book was perfect in filling in this blind spot. I would have liked more maps especially of the marches and the Dutch possessions and a list of the main characters and their functions separate from the index,rather like the credits to a film! However I would recommend this book both to those who like reading history for fun and those who like historical novels.
The authorised South African distributor of this product is under no obligation to honour the manufacture's guarantees/warranties or to provide after-sales service.
Please note that this item is imported from the USA, and is designed to be used in the USA. In addition, if the unit is powered it will come with a US plug and an adapter/transformer may be required. Please click here for more information on power requirements, or check with us if you are unsure or need any assistance!
Please also note that certain items cannot be imported, these include Alcohol, Animals, Batteries, Flammable Materials, Currency, Food, Furs, Chemicals, Explosives, Medications, Plants, Seeds, Supplements, Pressurized Cans, Tactical Equipment, Vitamins, Weaponry and Weaponry Accessories. In these cases, the item and information is displayed for reference purposes only. If you are not sure if we are permitted to bring an item, please send us an e-mail with a link to the item to confirm.
Please also ensure that you are ordering the correct item for your particular application as returns to the USA are costly. Product reviews are also provided for most of our items, which can give you a good idea for possible things to look out for and the quality of the item. By clicking Add to Cart, you are confirming that the item is correct and you accept the conditions listed here.