Talk:Battle of Barnet
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Not sure that it is of more than trivial interest but the alternative history Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen meticulously copied the Battle of Barnet as one of its fictional battles. Avalon 11:11, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I am going to rewrite this article in the next few days. It will be a major edit; new sources are going to be added, and the information sourced to them. A background and character section will be added, along with the legacies and Shakespeare! Maps, and pictures will also be added. Jappalang (talk) 10:56, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Did you know ...
- ... that that despite being one of the most important battles of the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Barnet (pictured) had only one surviving chronicle based on an eyewitness account?
Both Baron Hastings and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (the future Richard III) fought at Barnet with Edward IV. Why does their names keep getting deleted when I add them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 06:07, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
- Your contribution history does not show any edits to this article, so based on the similarity of contributions, I take it that you are IP 126.96.36.199. In regards to your other IP's edits, Infoboxes are summaries and not meant for details of the battles. Commanders of the armies involved should suffice; there is no need to go into details by adding notable combatants. Any warrior or battle leader, who are notable, will already be mentioned (and linked to) in the main body text. Jappalang (talk) 07:21, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
They were both commanders... Hastings on the Yorkist left, and Gloucester on the right.---- Last Resource
Comments from Scartol
I was asked by Jappalang to look at this article, and of course I couldn't just give it a quick once-over. (It's the detail freak in me.) You said you didn't want a copyedit, but it's hard for me to read articles without using the red pen once or twice. The research is solid (I assume, since I've never really studied this period of English history), and the writing is generally solid.
Here are some thoughts I had while reading. (I hope these obsessive nitpicks don't give the impression of major flaws in the article; it's very polished overall.)
- I'm not used to seeing specific distances mentioned in the lead. Maybe just say "...a small town north of London..."?
- ...Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, who had played crucial roles in enthroning and dethroning the two kings. This is unclear; I assume you're referring to Edward IV and Henry VI, but the phrasing makes me wonder exactly what his role was. Maybe something simpler would be preferable: "... who played a crucial role in the fate of each king."?
- Done Warwick commandered the Yorkist centre in the Battle of Towton, its victory for the House of York led to the dethroning of Henry VI and enthroning of Edward IV. Warwick's defection and invasion of England forced Edward to abandon the throne and flee, restoring Henry VI to the throne. This could be overly long in the lead and your suggestion is succinct in my view. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- "military action" and "military engagement" feel like odd phrases. While I appreciate the impulse to avoid repetition of the word "battle", we also don't want to complicate things unnecessarily with obtuse wording. There are, of course, many other word choices. How about "...as one of the most important clashes in the Wars of the Roses..."?
- Do we need to keep saying "the Lancastrians"? Is it incorrect to say "Lancaster", since that's simpler and most readers will understand its meaning more clearly? (This is not a rhetorical question; I assume you're more familiar with the correct terminology, so please use whichever terms are most common/appropriate.)
- "Lancaster" refers to the House/dukedom, while "Lancastrian" points to its subjects / the allegiance (similarly with "York" and "Yorkists"). It is somewhat akin to "America" and "Americans". "York" is generally avoided when referring to the House because it could cause confusion with how the the dukedom of York is addressed, and I believe that is the case when using "Lancaster" on its own. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- We don't get to the battle itself until the middle of the second lead paragraph, and then suddenly we have "The battle, however, was lost...". How about some brief descriptions of how the fighting unfolded? (This might require the removal of the poetic but not absolutely essential-for-the-lead detail about the early morning fog, heh.)
- ...the men of John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu, erroneously shot at those of John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford. I assume they were supposed to be allies? Make this clear?
- "consolidated their gains and enjoyed the fruits of their victories" is a very vague phrase. Can we be more specific? It feels like a placeholder.
- If you have to link to the wiktionary for "sexagenarian", maybe it's not the most suitable word.
- The Duke of Clarence? He's in Richard III (play), right? Now you're speaking my language! =)
- The caption "Locations mentioned in this article:" is a bit awkward. How about: "Important locations related to the Battle of Barnet"?
- I replaced "enabling him to win battles" with the less generic "often with decisive results". Please revert or reword this if I've made an inaccurate assertion.
- I'm not clear on the distinction between "Edward's leadership and martial prowess on the battlefield" compared to "his strategies and tactics". Clarify?
- Edward is spoken of inspiring his men on the battlefield with his warrior abilities (martial prowess). He knows how to use his men and make them follow his orders (leadership). "Strategies" is the broad plans a military commander makes to win the battle; long-term goals and logistics tend to come into play here. Tactics is how a leader manoeuvres his troops on the battlefield to win the battle, reacting to changes and unexpected situations. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- Is "the commoners" a standard term for non-royalty? As a commoner myself, it feels a little insulting. I assume you've looked at other English-royalty FAs. What term(s) do they use?
- I am a commoner too (heh), although I feel nothing over it (them nobby pigs!). I used this word to refer to the peons, peasants, working men and ladies of London (hence, not the nobles). I am not too certain which royalty FAs have talked about this... Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- Done Ross used "common person/people" instead of commoners. I hope this has less of a pejorative tone? Jappalang (talk) 22:32, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
- I'm a little worried that so much of the last half of the first paragraph is all based on Ross's book. Don't other sources mention Edward's relations with non-royalty?
- There are, but Ross is the most authorative and definitive source, and other sources are published by sources that have less than academic or scholaristic background (or have been discussed by Ross in his book). Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- Ross did talked of how Edward's popular support had fallen by 1469 (and not regained until some time in his second reign). I failed to include that. I now inserted it to offer a balanced view of Edward. Does that help? Jappalang (talk) 22:32, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
- I added "another Lancastrian commander" to the bit about John de Vere. Please revert if this is erroneous. (Though again I would say that "Lancaster commander" would be easier for the reader to follow.)
- ...the Nevilles and Beauforts had been feuding over estates for a long time. This is a bit vague. Years? Decades? Centuries?
- Several chroniclers said that Somerset left London to welcome Margaret in the south... Usually the claims of historians are put in the present tense, but I wonder if there is some special status that "chroniclers" have in this sort of history? (If that's just a synonym for "historians", however, their comments should be described in the literary present.)
- Done The chronicles conflict in this, and early historians adopted an unquestioned view that Somerset was at the battle. Later historians (based on later uncovered evidence and further analysis of the chronicles, I think) are pretty much agreed that Somerset was not at the battle. I pointed out Hicks and Ross as examples and Jones for the Somerset at Salisbury information. Tenses have been changed. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- Due to the Beaufort-Neville family feud, Somerset would not willingly subordinate himself to Warwick in the field, and would rather go to the direct aid of his queen and her army. This feels like a touch of OR. Maybe reword: "...it is unlikely that Somerset would willingly subordinate himself to Warwick in the field. More probably he would go to the direct aid of his queen and her army."?
- Done I changed it (corrections and attribution); I thought the original form is in the sources but it is not. They mentioned their bitter rivalry, but none specifically pointed it to be the reason that Somerset did not go to Warwick's aid. Royle pointed it as a mistrust among hardcore house allegiances. The original form was probably in one of the earlier sources (that had been discouraged from use and removed) and got misattributed. I altered the sentence to reflect Royle's view with attribution. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- ...the London populace preferred the young and dashing Yorkist king to the dotard Henry VI. While this may have been the consensus of the London population of the time—not to mention the consensus of historians now—words like "dashing" and "dotard" can't be presented as fact, unless accompanied by qualifiers ("what were described as 'dashing good looks'", that sort of thing). Here they feel like POV statements, so I removed them.
- The caption reads: Nobles of this period were attired in armour similar to the suit in this photo. I think it would be stronger if you described the elements of the armour in the photo that corresponded to the armour worn by Edward and others. Something like: "Nobles in the Battle of Barnet wore plate mail armour like that exhibited at the Leeds Royal Armoury." (I'm assuming that's plate mail there.)
- Done Adopted your suggestion with slight change. The armour of the period was mainly of mixed pieces. Nobles generally adopted the German design, but replaced certain portions with Italian components or locally-produced customised versions—composite field armour. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- The first paragraph is confusing. First we have: "Casualty figures for both sides vary from 1,500 to 10,000." Does this mean the total number of people who died during the battle? If so, we need to re-word this sentence. Then it says: "Historian Trevor Royle favours the recorded approximate figures of 500 Yorkists and 1,000 Lancastrians dead." Where are these recorded, and why is Royle the only historian quoted by name in this paragraph? If this is the accepted standard for the casualty count, why?
- Casualty figures as stated vary from the conservative to the extreme (depends on which chronicler is "talking about the fish they caught" and who they are writing for). Should I present the various ranges the contemporary chroniclers have presented? I chose Royle as he is the only source from a respectable publisher I can seem to find to give a certain figure. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
- Furthermore, it was a battle fought for two recognised Kings of England: Warwick was fighting for a ruler he had dethroned but reinstated, and against another he had helped seize the throne but later deposed. This sentence is a bit awkward and not really essential, since the rest of the article makes it plain anyway. I would vote to remove it.
- The sole chronicle based on an eyewitness account—The Arrivall of Edward IV—was written by a Yorkist supporter, which presents a biased account of the battle. The reader deserves to know how it's biased, preferably with one or two concrete examples.
- Another first-hand observation was found in the Paston Letters... But the previous sentence said there's only one eyewitness account. Clarify?
- Ballads composed during Edward's reign celebrated his victory as sanctioned by God. This would be a great spot for a representative lyric.
- Good lyric, but I moved the wording around a bit. Would I look stupid if I asked for some explanation of "boke telleth pleyn"? Scartol • Tok 00:18, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
- Nope, it is in old or Middle English as far as I can tell... (curses to those historians who simply add in Middle English, French, and Latin quotes at times without even explaining the contents). However, the general gist of it is as stated (God-given, per "Man plans... but God disposes"). This PDF states that boke telleth simply means "as the book says". Pleyne could either be "full" or simply "plain"; so "as the book plainly says" where "book" would refer to the scriptures or Bible perhaps. Jappalang (talk) 01:28, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
- It's odd for me to see External links written as full bibliographic entries, with OCLC records and all. Maybe these should just be included in the Bibliography?
- That was terrific editing; I am amazed at the amount of excess that was excised. I am aware I am apt to be superfluous in my words but whoa... That is one big red pen you have. Jappalang (talk) 22:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)