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This book is choc full of facts, however, the writing style is absolutely HORRIBLE. If you can figure out what the writer is saying it's spectacular but figuring out what the author is actually saying is sometimes very difficult and, although rarely, at times impossible. It's as if the writer is not a natural English speaker---useful propositions are missing---pronouns are used too often; to the point where you don't know which "he", "she", "they", etc, the author is referring to and I swear it's full of sentence fragments, although I might be wrong. I don't claim to be an English major, just an avid reader.
I really don't think the language has changed that much since the book was published in 1961, so I'm thinking it's just this particular author. I don't know exactly why but I found it very hard to follow. However, the journal excerpts which were written during the period, back in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds, were easier to understand than the commentary (by Beauchamp). This lends credence, I think, to the possibility that it's the author not being clear, rather than ME just being stupid. I think his language is vague rather than specific, overall, when describing the events. The topic is confusing as it is and because of that he should have tried to be as specific and clear as possible.
I gave it three stars for the wealth of information but left off two stars because unless the information can be understood sometimes it renders the information useless. Some of the information was useless to me because I could not always figure out what he was saying; or to know exactly if I was understanding it correctly.