After receiving some distressing news health wise this afternoon I thought I would come back home and share some happiness with you all. Hey, it'll make me feel better.
My speciality in both history and archaeology has always been the English Civil War and in particular the Battle of Cheriton which took place on 29th March 1644. When I was working on my BA dissertation, which was a study of the landscape archaeology of the battlefield (I ended up mapping the entire battlefield, looking at both proposed sites and working out that the traditional site was the most likely due to the landscape...which in itself is another post!), I came across a great book by John Adair in my University library. This book, named simply "Cheriton 1644: The Campaign and the Battle" became my bible, I had it out of the library for almost 6 months and used it intensively. And it was a sad day when I had to give it back at the end of my course.
However, looking around online it seemed that this was a rather rare book and only went through one lot of publication, meaning that any available copies were all first editions and thus rather expensive. All copies I found ended up costing between £150-£300, all new and in great condition which obviously was a little expensive. But I was determined on getting myself a copy to take pride of place on my bookshelf between my other rare books. After a lot of searching I managed to find a "used but good condition" on Amazon marketplace for just £28. Guess who snapped it up.
When it arrived I was shocked at the condition. It was perfect, never read. OK so it was a little discoloured due to the age (published in 1973) but other than that it was perfect. No tears, the hardback was almost perfect. The only thing missing was the dustcover. Had it come with that then the price would have rocketed. Not only that it was lovingly parcelled up too, wrapped in protective cellophane and then wrapped like a parcel with a nice note from the seller too!
I'm currently reading this wonderful book again and loving every moment of it. Not only that, it's helping with my research for my Nanowrimo novel (which is even better!) and it's really got me back into this wonderful battle. I fully intend to start back on my work on the battle now, get some pieces written on it and see where I go from there.