Home › Forums › Welcome › New Member Introductions › Hello from Mark Simner
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August 4, 2014 at 11:50 am #8743
Hello, my name is Mark Simner and I am from the UK. My main interest is in British military history from the early 1700s to the post-Second World War period, however my strengths are perhaps with the Napoleonic and Victorian periods. As such I am also the Administrator of the Napoleonic Wars Forum and the Victorian Wars Forum. The latter I set up in 2007 and the former more recently in 2011. Both are doing extremely well, as I hope this new forum will do. I also run a military history blog, which can be found at http://www.marksimner.me.uk and I can be found on Twitter @marksimner
I have read around the American Revolutionary War quite a bit over the years, but am far from an expert. However, I hope joining this forum will raise my knowledge of the conflict.
Looking forward to the discussions!
MarkAugust 5, 2014 at 7:52 am #8744
Hello Mark, welcome to the forum! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm and interest in history.
The American Revolutionary War was surely a major event in American history. It seems, the more I read about one period in history the more it begins to draw me to other periods of history or events around the world. I looked at Napoleonic and Victorian forums, they are extremely active, thorough, and interesting. Sincere compliments on their content. Your blog looks great too.
As someone from the UK, do you feel the American Revolution garners much attention in the study of British history? Britain being such a global military power for so long they were engaged in many conflicts (even several in parallel with the American Revolution, likely one factor that contributed (thankfully from my US perspective 🙂 ) to an American victory. I was always curious where it fit into the collective historical recollection of the British people, and if it is just one among many events.
-DanAugust 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm #8746
Thank you for the welcome and the kind words regarding my forum and blog! 🙂
Sadly the American Revolution seems to have drifted from the minds of most people in the UK, I don’t think it is even on the school curriculum anymore, or at least not in any depth. However, there will of course be those who go on to study history at University who will examine it in greater detail. I am not sure why it gets so little attention here, possible due to the fact it was a major defeat for Britain, and countries tend to remember the victories rather than their defeats. That said the Seven Years’ War, which as you know held many tremendous victories for Britain, is also largely forgotten by the majority of the British public. Certainly at the time of the loss of the American colonies the British looked to India instead, and I have often wondered if Britain would have been so active in the conquest of the Indian states if North America was still under the Crown. Perhaps it is from 1780s onwards that Britain began forgetting?
The Napoleonic Wars remain popular amongst British historians, as does much of the Victorian period, and of course both World Wars. I began my interest in military history in WW2 when I was a teenager, since then I have progressively been working my way back to the ealry 1700s. I doubt I will go any earlier than the time of Marlborough, rather I would like to gain a better understanding of conflicts such as the American Revolution and Seven Years’ War etc.
One aspect of forums such as this I particularly enjoy is that members come from different countries. That way you are exposed far more to the different views of the conflict, and thus a better overall understanding. It looks like I will be reaching for some of my American Revolution books from the shelves of my home library very shortly!
MarkAugust 6, 2014 at 5:39 am #8747
Surely, international perspectives really help paint the bigger picture. I guess in a way I am not surprised that it garners little historical attention there. Part of what I have studied about the American Revolution involved learning what are “myths” that are often taught in schools and come to be the generally accepted account of events, when often there is more to it. Gaining others perspectives also helps frame things well. For example I was interested to learn how many different wars Britain was fighting around the world in parallel with the fighting with the American Colonies. It is often posed here in the US (likely for the effect of embellishing victory) of a “david vs goliath” story where the small US Army defeated mighty Britain and the largest Navy in the world. Did the US strategize and fight well, absolutely. They were also helped by France, Spain, and Britain’s other engagements around the world.
I have to look more into the Seven Years’ War. Had worked my way back to the Revolution and in doing so have picked up on little pieces of the precursor events that were part of the Seven Years’ War. Many of the prominent Continental Army military leaders it seemed had fought for Britain then, gaining the experience and skills that would be later used when fighting for America. Definitely a lot t delve into there.
And the Napoleonic wars weave their way into things (at least from my limited perspective) from the revered Marquis de Lafayette’s influence first in helping the American cause then in helping lay the political foundation for the French Revolution and later Napoleonic Wars. Even on a global scale it seems like such a small world with many things interrelated.June 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm #8986
I must apologize for my absence during the past nine months, but I have had to urgently concentrate on finishing two books that I was writing, which I am glad to say are now done (although I am working on a third, at a somewhat slower pace). However, I now hope to have a little time to spend learning more about the American Revolutionary War.
Indeed, my latest book purchase is ‘With Zeal and with Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783′ by Matthew H. Spring, which I am looking forward to reading. Have any RevWarTalk members read this title?
MarkJune 4, 2015 at 5:05 am #8988
Great to hear from you, as always! I hope all has been going great. Do tell us a bit about your books, what period/topic of history (if I presume correctly) are they about? I’d be excited to learn more
I have not yet read ‘With Zeal and with Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783‘ by Matthew H. Spring, though looking at it online (http://www.amazon.com/With-Zeal-Bayonets-Only-Commanders/dp/0806141522), it touches on a very important part of the war. It could also be useful to another discussion I recall that had some debate about the tactics used by both sides – I will be sure to post the title there for others.
I will add it to my list of reads, it seems like a good oneJune 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm #8997
Both books are alas outside of the American Revolutionary War, so I will only briefly mention them so not to go too far off-topic. My first book is called ‘An Illustrated Introduction to the Battle of Waterloo’, which was published in the UK in May this year and will be released in the US in July. The title pretty much says it all, but the book is aimed at those new to the battle and, I hope, fills a gap in the market for those who do not wish to pick-up and read one of the many heavy tomes that already exist. My second book is complete and currently with a publisher. It examines the Pathan risings against the British on the North West Frontier of India in late 1897. The rising was one of the most serious challenges to British authority in the region since the Indian Mutiny. Very little has been written about since the end of the Victorian and early Edwardian periods.
Back to the American Revolutionary War, I have also acquired ‘The Men Who Lost America: British Command during the Revolutionary War and the Preservation of the Empire’ by Andrew O’Shaughnessy. Again, I am very much looking forward to read it as soon as I finish reading my current book.
MarkJune 4, 2015 at 10:42 pm #8999
Wow, excellent. There has been a lot of attention to Waterloo this year with the ’15 anniversary. And a link for anyone interested :): http://www.amazon.com/An-Illustrated-Introduction-Battle-Waterloo/dp/1445646668
I like the idea of learning more about the larger British colonial context (the American Revolutionary war being but one of several British colonial conflicts), interesting topic.
The O’Shaughnessy book seems like a valuable read, sifting through the myths of history is often a daunting task. I’ll have to add this towards the top of my to-read list, great pick.
I was recently reading the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin while working on a mobile app related to some content from it. Although I’ve read it before, it’s always great to revisit, and that’s been my latest read.
DanJune 4, 2015 at 11:42 pm #9001
Thanks, Dan! I find the whole Georgian period interesting, particularly the conflicts from the time of Marlborough (slightly pre-Georgian I know) up to and including the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. However, both the American Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars officer an incredible amount of scope for research, with many minor actions in addition to the larger better-known battles. Even if you devote a lifetime to one of these conflicts, I do not think you could ever learn it all.
MarkJune 5, 2015 at 5:25 am #9003
It’s true, so much to learn! I guess that’s what makes history fun
DanJune 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm #9004
By the way Dan, I meant to say if you fancy writing a short piece about the forum, what its about and why you set it up etc., I would be happy to post it as a guest article on my military history blog. I am not sure how many of my blog followers are into the American Revolutionary War but it might generate a new member or two.
We would obviously include the URL and perhaps the forum logo or similar?
MarkJune 6, 2015 at 7:14 am #9006
Hi Mark, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to do so! Thank you, sincerely, for the thought. I will reach out to you offline so we can coordinate.
DanJune 8, 2015 at 12:40 am #9007
Thanks, Dan! As a fellow forum Administrator, I look forward to helping the RevWarTalk forum where I can.
MarkJune 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm #9008
For those of you who are interested, here is Dan’s guest article regarding RevWarTalk: http://marksimner.me.uk/guest-article-american-revolutionary-war-history-forum/
Please do spread the word and encourage others to join us.
MarkJune 16, 2015 at 8:46 pm #9009
Thank you again, Mark! It is great to see it up there
Also, to those interested in other time periods in history, check out Mark’s forums:
Napoleonic Wars Forum – French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792-1815
Victorian Wars Forum – British Military Campaigns from 1837-1902
They have also been added to our links section, along with a great history blog that another member, Josh, publishes: http://revwartalk.com/Research-Library/links-resources-page.html
I am excited about the communities we have, so much great interest and info to share
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