Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review of Fort William Henry 1755-1757 by Ian Castle

Ian Castle's Fort William Henry 1755-1757, published by Osprey Publishing was an anticipated Christmas present.  Here, I will review it.

Topic: This book covers three major campaigns in the Lake George area during the French and Indian War.  Johnson's march to capture Fort Sainte-Frederic and the resulting Battle of Lake George are first.  Then the winter raid by the French to capture the newly-constructed Fort William-Henry in early 1757 is covered.  The third campaign is the successful siege and capture of Fort William-Henry in 1757, as well as the resulting massacre.

Writing: The author's style is clear and easy to follow, yet without leaving off important points of information for the sake of brevity.

Paintings: All of Osprey Publishing's books include specially commissioned paintings taking up a whole page (two for a battle scene).  Fort William Henry has four!  These cover (chronologically) the French firing line at the Battle of Lake George 1755, the British garrison watching as the French burn a sloop outside the fort in March 1757, the French (and an Indian) firing a cannon in the August siege, and the pursuit of Englishmen during the massacre.  All paintings are very well done by Michael McNally.

Illustrations: Every Osprey book also has a plethora of illustrations in the text.  Many of these illustrations are photographs of reenactors.  While some reenactor photographs are not historically accurate (for example, too many men wearing spectacles or tourists in the background), these are some of the best I have seen.  The other illustrations are excellent as well.

Final Analysis: A well-written book that is also a feast for the eyes.  Definitely recommended if you have even a casual interest in this period.

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