Recent edited collection on civilians and war

Charters, Erica, Eve Rosenhaft, and Hannah Smith, eds. Civilians and War in Europe, 1618-1815. Liverpool University Press, 2012.


Civilians and War in Europe 1618–1815 examines the relationship between civilians and warfare from the start of the Thirty Years War to the end of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The volume interrogates received narratives of warfare that identify the development of modern ‘total’ war with the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and instead considers the continuities and transformations in warfare over the course of two hundred years. The contributors examine prisoners of war, the cultures of plunder, the tensions of billeting, and war-time atrocities throughout England, France, Spain, and the German territories. They also explore the legal practices surrounding the conduct and aftermath of war; representations of civilians, soldiers, and militias; and the philosophical underpinnings of warfare. They probe what it meant to be a civilian in territories beset by invasion and civil war or in times when ‘peace’ at home was accompanied by almost continuous military engagement abroad. Their accounts show us civilians not only as anguished sufferers, but also directly involved with war: fighting back with shocking violence, profiting from war-time needs, and negotiating for material and social redress. And they show us individuals and societies coming to terms with the moral and political challenges posed by the business of drawing lines between ‘civilians’ and ‘soldiers’.

Lots of interesting articles by well-known scholars discussing familiar (and less familiar) topics:

1. Introdcution
Erica Charters, Eve Rosenhaft and Hannah Smith

Part I: Suffering, Reconciliation and Values in the Seventeenth Century
2. Was the Thirty Years War a ‘Total War’?
Peter H. Wilson
3. Grotius and the Civilian
Coln McKeogh
4. War, Property and the Bonds of Society: England’s ‘Unnatural’ Civil Wars
Barbara Donagan
5. Transitional Justice Theory and Reconciling Civil War Division in English Society, circa 1660-1670
Melanie Harrington

Part II: The State, Soldiers and Cilivians
6. The Administration of War and French Prisoners of War in Britain, 1756-1763
Erica Charters
7. Civilians, the French Army and Military Justice during the Reign of Louis XIV, circa 1640-1715
8. Restricted Violence? Military Occupation during the Eighteenth Century
Horst Carl
9. British Soldiers at Home: The Civilian Experience in Wartime, 1740-1783
Stephen Conway

Part III: Who is a Civilian? Who is a Soldier?
10. Conflicted Identities: Soldiers, Civilians and the Representation of War
Philip Shaw
11. ‘Turning Out for Twenty-Days Amusement’: The Militia in Georgian Satirical Prints
Matthew McCormack
12. Insurgents and Counter-Insurgents between Military and Civil Society from the 1790s to 1815
Alan Forrest

Part IV: Contradictions of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
13. The Limits of Conflict in Napoleonic Europe – and Their Transgression
David A. Bell
14. Pluder on the Peninsula: British Soliders and Local Civilians during the Peninsular War, 1808-1813
Gavin Galy
15. Invasion and Occupation: Civilian-Military Relations in Central Europe during Revolutionary and Napoleonic War
Leighton S. James
16. Imprisoned Reading: French Prisoners of War at the Selkirk Subscription Library, 1811-1814
Mark Towsey

[I am assuming the typos in the Table of Contents above only appear on Liverpool UP’s website, and not in the book itself. Which would be a shame, since I know almost nothing about cilivians and the Pluder on the Peninsula.]



One response to “Recent edited collection on civilians and war”

  1. John Grenier says :

    Looks like some pretty accomplished historians and scholars contributed. I’m really interested in the “rules” as the applied to the No. Am. Experience. Thanks for the heads up. Look fwd to reading this.

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