Friday, October 30, 2009

Books, books, books, books . . .

I love books. I'm a total book geek. It's gotten to the point too, where I don't let them own me, I actually read all my books. This is incredibly necessary because I've pretty much maxed out my bookshelf space, so I don't buy nearly as many as used to.

Nevertheless book buying is one of my chief vices, so I'm pretty picky about what I get. This week I ordered two books. One is used, in fact it's out of print so it had to be used. I picked up a copy of "Now We are Enemies," by Thomas Fleming on Bunker Hill. It's supposed to be a great read, and Fleming is an interesting writer. Not sure it will vault right to the top of the heap in my reading queue, but it's definitely a good mid-winter's read.

The other book, which arrived today from Amazon, is a bit more central to my current painting projects is Kevin Kiley's Uniforms from the American Revolutionary War. I've only thumbed through it, but it was definitely worth the investment. It's so difficult to know what units looked like during the AWI and most illustrations are just speculative. There is no truth, at least not for the Americans, and even for British units in the field. Kiley's book is a bit more wide-ranging than Mollo's classic little book on AWI uniforms, and supplemented by Don Troiani's book on soldiers of the Revolutionary War, I get a little bit more to think about. The books offers illustrations of British, American and Provincial Units, as well as French, German and Spanish troops. There are even illustrations of cannon, ships and examples of flags.

If you're desperately in need of knowing exactly what James Coffin's sixty mounted South Carolina Royalist dragoons wore at Eutaw Springs (as I am) this will not solve your problem. However, if you're groping in the dark at what units might have worn at various times during the Revolution, this will offer some suggestion. The book that tells it all simply hasn't been written--and likely never will be.

1 comment:

DeanM said...


Very nice book. I wish I still had the set of postcard sized illustrations of AWI soldiers I got on a trip to the East Coast back in '75. I know no one would've thrown it away, but I don't know what ever happened to it. Dean