In an effort to pep up my blog I thought I would give a frank review of one of the books I received at Christmas 2014. To be honest I only started reading this book last night, but managed to get in an hours reading so I feel qualified to comment on the matters that I feel are relevant.
I dont know David Wilson but do have quite a few miniatures that he designed and which were sold under the Jackdaw label. I like the figures which clearly are greatly influenced by the Willie ranges.
Mr Wilson clearly knows his stuff as regards the French army in the 1740 period.
This book reflects this. He has attempted to provide an accurate description of the uniforms worn by the French Army and for that I have no complaints. In fact I applaud him for writing this book.
The book is not cheap costing a hefty £48.50 p from Caliver Books.
I like the drawings that he has provided, although I would have liked more especially of the Foreign and Light regiments.
My chief criticisms of the book are the poor and perhaps non existent proof reading of the book.Scattered throughout the book are typos and spelling mistakes.
My second and main criticism is the very poor sentence construction which litters the book.
If I did not know otherwise I would have thought the book had been written by a Frenchman who had a poor grasp of English and not vice versa.
'' For even though all commands & service was in the French language, at least for the French national regiments,and this since the times of Francois 1st [ Ordanance of Villers Coteret ]there were still some six different spoken & written languages as well as several strong dialects spoken in France,even today,with the exception that now most of these French peoples also speak French,this was not the case in the 18th Century''.
Perhaps its me, and I admit I did not have a university education but I found this and many other sentences throughout this book damned nearly impossible to understand. The other gripe I have is the use of & for the word and. What is this about.
From the short history that David Wilson has provided about himself he was born when punctuation and sentence construction were still taught ie, the 1960's onwards.
I know that I sound like Victor Meldrew, but at nearly £50.00 a shot I expect a book to be a pleasurable experience, I do not expect to be losing patience with the contents due to piss poor writing.
Mr Wilson clearly knows his subject, he also has been able to gain access to primary sources which have not been used before. His actual descriptions of the regiments are good, although additional sketches would have been nice. But the actual book is in my opinion let down by shoddy proof reading and the inability of the author to write clear and concise sentences.
Would I buy it if I knew what I know now?
Yes, but only if it was £20.00 cheaper & properly proof read. 5/10 must try harder.