Some studies of the war's battles include James Falkner, Great and Glorious Days: Schellenberg, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde
, and Malplaquet (Staplehurst, Kent: Spellmount, 2002), and Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat, ed.
The author's strength is in describing battles and his words come alive amidst the blood and bravery of Oudenarde
, the grit and attrition of the siege of Lille and the crucial battle of Wynendael.
This is my first contact with The Holden Press, but I should note that they have published two other collections that mix historical essays with verse in both Latin and English: Ramillies (a commemoration of the three hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Ramillies, 1706) and 1708: Oudenarde
The third of the four famous victories over the French won by John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy in the War of the Spanish Succession (Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde
and Malplaquet) came after a succession of setbacks in 1707.
They also served at Ramillies, in 1706, Oudenarde
, in 1708 and Malplaquet in 1709.
This great people was endowed by Britain with a "form of government, which brings with it prosperity," and to this people one could aptly apply nearly every word that Voltaire and Montesquieu wrote concerning the England they visited roughly a quarter-century after Marlborough repeatedly demonstrated in battle--at Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde
, Lille, and Malplaquet--the superiority of modern to ancient statecraft.
Two months later at Oudenarde
, Marlborough was once again mixed in the melee:
is to make the Sex more Fantastical, or (as they are pleased to term it) more awaken'd, than is consistent either with Virtue or Discretion'.(11) His own Discourse was a fashionable (if not, perhaps, foolish) piece of domestic self-definition which mirrored anti-French trends in the theatre - a self-interested response to the competition of a growing number of French novelty acts, singers, and dancers - which also reflected the national gloating which occurred after Marlborough's successes at Oudenarde
, Malplaquet, Douai, and Bethune, military achievements which are the basis of the opening sentences of the essay: 'There is nothing which I more desire than a safe and honourable Peace, tho' at the same time I am very apprehensive of many ill Consequences that may attend it.
In the War of the Spanish Succession, Marlborough continued his winning ways, beating the French at Oudenarde
on July 11, 1708, and at Malplaquet on September 11, 1709.
Principal battles: Senef (Seneffe) (1674); Mont Cassel (1677); Fleurus (1690); Leuze (1691); Steenkirk (Hainaut, Belgium) (1692); Neerwinden (near Liege) (1693); Ramillies (Brabant, Belgium) (1706); Oudenarde
(Oudenaarde) (1708); Malplaquet (near Lille) (1709); Denain (1712).
But this time the village was Oudenarde