After I read the first chapter, I was a bit worried. Englund starts the book with a fairly detailed account of the Battle of Warsaw in 1656. And I feared that the rest of the book would be much of the same. Thankfully Englund doesn’t limit his scope to warfare in the 17th century, and between descriptions of battles during the Thirty Years War, he focuses on the political, economic and social transformations of the period.
When Englund muses on the Swedish educational system or the troubles of travelling, he is at his best.