The Protector: The Fall & Rise Of Oliver Cromwell
By: Tom Reilly - Tophat Books, $16.95
Description: The Protector: The Fall and Rise Of Oliver Cromwell - A Novel is a distinctively realistic all killer - no filler fictional biography that bristles with controversy, sex, love, civil war, slaughter, intrigue, redemption and - perhaps the ultimate crime of all - regicide.
Verdict: Here in Reilly’s brand new book The Protector: The Fall and Rise Of Oliver Cromwell - A Novel, every effort has been made to accurately weave real people around a narrative of historical precision.
Meticulously biographical in its substance, the plot is predetermined by a landscape of true events that both enthrall and educate. Perhaps controversially, the subject is credibly portrayed as a tender father, an admirable man and a reluctant overachiever.
And yet at all times the unrelenting pace of the action truly reflects Cromwell’s compelling life story. As they say, If you think you know Oliver Cromwell ... think again, which is why this book is just so intriguing to me personally (and, I hope, will be to you also).
To provide a quick slice of (actual_ history, Oliver Cromwell was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies of the Parliament of England against King Charles I during the English Civil War, subsequently ruling the British Isles as Lord Protector (hence the book title) from 1653 until his death in 1658.
As you begin your literary journey within this book, one of the pages you pass by showcases another linked Reilly-written book, this one entitled Cromwell was Framed (where the author digs deep and provides evidence suggesting that monarchists then, and nationalists more recently, have been wrong in accusing republican Oliver Cromwell of a massacre of non-combatants at Drogheda in 1649) and then we are into the first of twenty-seven chapters, this one titled as 1599.
In what is a completely - to my mind - left of center opening page that brings forth the vividly captured story of how a monkey named Caesar swiped a five-month-old baby from the Cromwell stately home, built on the site of a former nunnery, all whilst down below a tranquil social gathering helmed by mother Elizabeth Cromwell (née Bourchier) was ongoing, the book thereafter never lets the reader down and keeps a wickedly vibrant pace throughout.
Oh, and for the record, and based on the premise that this whole monkey exploit was indeed an actual noted fact and not simply a myth embellished through time, it was subsequently discovered that the monkey was playing with baby Oliver on the roof, but even though beds and blankets were brought out and placed on the ground, to catch the baby, in case the monkey should drop or throw him down, Caesar was very careful, and presently he brought Oliver safely to the ground again.
Moving on, and with the book, as a whole, created and cultivated based on the more known, and accepted of facts, albeit perhaps a rather more utilization view taken of the historical rhetoric, shall we perhaps say, The Protector reveals a new take on the controversial figure of Oliver Cromwell, presenting him as not a tyrant, but instead a man unjustly tarnished by his aggressors and circumstances in tangent to his political leanings.
Running at 229 pages, The Protector: The Fall and Rise Of Oliver Cromwell - A Novel is easily enthralling enough to have you binge read it in two enjoyable sittings, which I humbly suggest you do, as it will have you second guessing all you thought you knew about the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, of that have no doubt.
About the Author - Amateur historian Tom Reilly has almost single-handedly taken on the might of academia with regard to Cromwell. He has appeared on national TV and radio in both the UK and Ireland in both documentaries and chat shows. He lives in County Louth, Ireland.
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