Only a couple of days ago I mentioned that we were about to launch a new series of blogs asking for your feedback on which subjects we should be looking to revisit in each of our series - and here is the very first of those blogs. And of course we have to start at the very beginning - with the Men-at-Arms series.
MAA has been running for 40+ years, and in that time we have covered a huge amount of ground, but are there any subjects that you think we should go back to? Perhaps we tried to pack too much information into a single book or our book on the Arab Legion could use an update? We want to hear what you think!
Phil Smith, the commissioning editor for our new Osprey Games imprint kicks off the debate with his own personal suggestion:
"At one time or another, I was a Medievalist, and while I’m probably safest out of that phase (I learned Medieval French, dammit – the most non-transferable skill imaginable!), I do still have a great love of all things of that era. For me, one of the Men-at-Arms topics that would benefit from second look is the Scottish and Welsh Wars – currently represented by the (appropriately named) MAA 151: The Scottish and Welsh Wars 1250–1400, written and illustrated by Christopher Rothero. Now, 150 years in a single volume isn’t that bad compared to some books we’ve done, but the era is a rich one that is deserves more detailed coverage, and would provide plenty of opportunities for some new (and exceptional) colour plates – get Peter Dennis or Mark Stacey on the job, sit back and enjoy! To be honest, if I was given free rein to revisit the topic, I’d adjust how the period as a whole was presented. Essentially, it’d be a ‘Wars of the Plantagenet Kings’ mini-series, running from (potentially) Henry II to Richard III. Alongside the Scottish and Welsh Wars, this would allow other older titles (as most of the Medieval books are) to be refreshed with an expanded take and new artwork:
• Invasion of Ireland
• 3rd Crusade (the Crusades are pretty well-served in the Campaign stakes, but are less so in the MAA sphere)
• Anglo-French War
• First Barons’ War
• Saintonge War
• Second Barons’ War
• 9th Crusade
• Conquest of Wales
• First War of Scottish Independence
• Bruce’s Irish Campaign
• Despenser War
• War of Saint-Sardos
• Second War of Scottish Independence
• Hundred Years’ War (better-covered than many Medieval topics, and more recently in the MAA series, but still a fertile one to look at again!)
• War of the Breton Succession
• 1383–85 Crisis
• Glyndwr Rising
• Wars of the Roses (again, good Campaign coverage, but in need of a MAA revisitation)
Now, I’ve probably missed several topics, and there are a number of these that really don’t merit much coverage, and I have no idea how I’d go about breaking down the period into manageable chunks, but the variety and importance of some of these wars surely merit more consideration than a single MAA? Wow… that got out of hand quicker than expected…"
There are a couple of changes from the Filling the Gaps suggestion process. As there is still so much historical content out there that we haven't already covered we wouldn't want to devote a huge chunk of our yearly book list to revisiting subjects, so lets get a bit more focused.
We would like you to suggest two titles that you think we should revisit - with a very short sentence explaining why you think that returning to those subjects would be important (Phil clearly flouted those rules and will be punished accordingly). A third slot is available to use - but only if it is supporting a suggestion that has already been made by someone else. Remember - if you spot that your ideas have already been posted up, it is worth posting them up yourselves to lend them added support.
At the end of the month we will tally up the suggestions and put the five most popular suggestions to the public vote in our monthly book vote - so get discussing!