Sieges determined the course of the English Civil Wars, yet they receive scant attention. In contrast, the major set-piece battles are repeatedly analysed and reassessed. As a result our understanding of the conflict, and of its outcome, is incomplete. John Barratt, in this lucid and perceptive account, makes the siege the focal point of his study. As well as looking at the theory and practice of siege warfare and fortification, he considers the often-devastating human impact. Using a selection of graphic examples, he shows how siege warfare could ruin the lives of the soldiers - and the civilians - caught up in it. He examines in detail a dozen sieges, using a combination of eyewitness accounts, other contemporary sources, archaeological surveys, and other modern research. His study provides a detailed and vivid reconstruction of these often neglected episodes of civil war history.