From Roman times down to the eighteenth century, the South West of England comprised a striking example of the importance of matters of security and defence to a local society easily threatened by external enemies and by internal conflicts and tensions.
In Security and Defence in South-West England Valerie A. Maxfield examines the problems of internal security from the point of view of the Roman army, as it held down newly-conquered territory. Robert Higham considers the variety of responses - notably in the form of fortifications - which medieval society offered to external as well as internal problems. Joyce Youings analyses the particular difficulties of organising the local militia in the Tudor period. Anne Duffin and Ivan Roots adopt a Cornish perspective on problems of defence in the seventeenth century. And David J. Starkey considers the interplay of trade and security in the eighteenth century, as witnessed in the contribution of the North Atlantic fishing industry to the manning of the Royal Navy.
Over all, these studies provide a fascinating series of vignettes illustrating perennial and enduring problems in the history of the British Isles.