Geoffrey Smith’s Royalist Agents, Conspirators and Spies: Their Role in the British Civil Wars, 1640-1660 was recently reviewed by Kirsteen MacKenzie on the Reviews in History website.
‘This is a fascinating and absorbing account … It highlights the increasing importance of underground Royalist activity as the Stuart monarchs failed to regain their kingdoms. It also gives an insight into how the Royalist effort was organised and managed, especially the Royalists’ ability to communicate across counties, countries and even continents. It demonstrates the diverse backgrounds of Royalist agents and shows their cause was dependent upon individual talents, and was affected by the weaknesses of these spies due to a lack of overall direction…. Geoffrey Smith’s volume …is a very welcome addition to the emerging literature…. a particular strength of Smith’s account is the great character sketches he draws of the persons involved in conspiracy, people from various backgrounds with many different strengths and weaknesses…. Overall, this is a fascinating account of Royalist intrigue during the mid 17th century which highlights that Royalist conspiracy was not a marginal and defensive reaction to defeat, but an integral part of the Royalist cause.’ Reviews in History
About the Author: Geoffrey Smith was Head of History at Melbourne Grammar School for a number of years. He is now an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of The Cavaliers in Exile, 1640-1660 (2003) and of several articles on the royalists. He is currently working on a contribution to a planned collection of essays on the courtier, playwright and theatre manager, Thomas Killigrew.