Cromwell Reads a Letter Found in Charles’s Cabinet after Naseby, oil on canvas by Charles Landseer, British, 1799-1879. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.

  Landseer was meticulous in his attention to historic detail and accuracy of accessories and details in his paintings. Here he includes the civilians killed in the conquest of the English Civil War.

  Naseby was a decisive battle in that war in 1645 which was fought between the Royalist Army of King Charles I and Parliamentarian New Model Army commanded by Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.

  The letter was captured from the king’s personal baggage and victory was partly due to the contents of war plans which had fallen into the hands of the Parliamentarians.

History Forever Lost

Bleached landscape
White beasts
Cold, hard,
No place for man
The extremities
Of hunger
Ravenous feeding. Feeling.
As the monsters devour
The eye observes
Telling darkness
And shock.
The scattered objects
Born of silence
Concealed by
For man proposes
But God disposes.
White beasts
Ghosts of the past.
The sublime
In crisis. Some
Forever lost.

– A.R.