Narrative Flow

Narrative historian and festival organiser Derek Wilson looks back over half a century of popularising history

The Swedish squares stood like a rock against which Tilly’s cavalry broke in vain, and up each of the innumerable alleys between the narrow groups of horsemen, on whichever side the imperialists attacked, came that unrelenting stream of deadly fire. The King and his officers, without armour, in their buff coats and plumed hats, showed themselves fearlessly wherever the danger was greatest, the King himself seeming to be everywhere at once, so that when the day was over he, of all men, had the most confused recollection of the fight. Blinded with dust, the sweat streaming from his face, he galloped up and down the lines, exhorting his men until his throat gave out, bawling hoarsely for a drink of water, and spurring off again before anyone had time to hand him a flask.‘ C.V. Wedgwood, The Thirty Years War, 1944).

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