Normally Historyzine is a podcast which publishes a new episode every two to six weeks, but just now, it delivered two issues within three days. The first contains a review of Marlborough: England's Fragile Genius, Richard Holmes' biography of the first Duke of Marlborough the commander of the allied forces in the Spanish War of Succession, which is the main subject in Historyzine. The second is actually also a review. Host Jim Mowatt traveled this summer to Oudenaarde in Belgium for the reenactment of the battle of Oudenaarde which in 1708 was the key battle in the Spanish War of Succession. Mowatt tells about his experiences over there.
Mowatt has a lot of praise for Holmes' biography. In his opinion, this is not just a thorough work of history, it is also well written like a novel. As a result, Holmes allows the broad public to access Marlborough and with him the history of the Spanish War of Succession. The only thing that escapes Historyzine's host is why Holmes had to label the duke as fragile. There are various vulnarabilities that Marlborough bore with him, but none of them seem to be a major point in the biography. So what about Marlborough, after Mowatt has studied both Holmes and Winston Churchill's major work on the same, I wonder what he has to say about Marlborough, both as a leader as well as a person. The remains implicit and I hope we will get to see a little bit more of this in episodes to come.
Praise also befalls the reenactment in Oudenaarde and the town, for the way it hosted the event. Mowatt has had an utterly good time and his enthusiasm is contagious. The listener would have wanted to be there.
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