Oliver Cromwell has been the subject of books, learned journals, less learned articles, TV and radio programmes, countless times. He has had proponents and opponents. He has been revered and reviled, but far too seldom has he been understood. Perhaps the most scholarly of recent books on the subject is that by Dr Micheál Ó Siochrú (you might find it easier to call him Michael Sugrue) who is a Senior Lecturer in History at Trinity College Dublin. He is a specialist in Seventeenth Century Irish History which, importantly, he most often views against the backdrop of Seventeenth Century Europe. In 1649 Cromwell, whose Parliamentarians had won the English Civil War and executed the King at the beginning of the war, landed in Ireland with a huge army. This action was taken so quickly because the Irish had formed an alliance with the Royalists in Ireland and now, with the English claimant to the throne, Charles Stuart who 9 years later would famously become King Charles II. Cromwell proceeded to 'pacify' Ireland with appalling savagery - English fear of invasion from Ireland was very real, and Cromwell's Puritan hatred of Catholics equally so. Cromwell was himself in Ireland for just nine months as there were other parts of the British Isles in urgent need of 'pacification', but the English army was fighting there for four years. The Second World War only lasted for five. I have been motivated by the publication of Tom Reilly’s new book in the summer (August 2014), Cromwell was Framed, to produce a new Litebite booklet, Crumell. Like most of what I write it is aimed not at scholars but at those who have some knowledge of the subject of the book, in this case Oliver Cromwell in Ireland, and might like to know more.rs.
About the Author
You don’t need to know much about me because I never even considered writing BOOKS until I was in my sixties. I am a retired businessman and have written more business related documents than I care to remember, so the trick for me is to try and avoid writing like that in these books….
Relevant, I suppose, is that I am Irish by birth but left Ireland when I was 35 after ten years working in Waterford. We settled in Zimbabwe and stayed there until I retired, and that gave me loads of material for books which I will try and use sometime. So far I have only written one book on Africa, “The Road to Zimbabwe”, a light hearted look at the country’s history. And there’s also a small book about adventures flying light aircraft in Africa. And now I am starting on ancient Rome, the first book being about Julius Caesar, Marcus Cato, the Conquest of Gaul, (Caesar and Cato, the Road to Empire) and the Civil War. But for most of my books so far I have gone back to my roots and written about Irish history, trying to do so as a lively, living subject rather than a recitation of battles, wars and dates. My book on O’Connell, for example, looks more at his love affair with his lovely wife Mary, for it was a most successful marriage and he never really recovered from her death; and at the part he played in the British Great Reform Bill of 1832, which more than anyone he, an Irish icon,
Out of Ireland, my book on Zimbabwe starts with a 13th century Chief fighting slavers and follows a 15th century Portuguese scribe from Lisbon to Harare, going on to travel with the Pioneer Column to Fort Salisbury, and to dine with me and Mugabe and Muzenda. And nearer our own day my Flying book tells of lesser known aspects of World War 2 in which my father was Senior Controller at RAF Biggin Hill, like the story of the break out of the Scharnhorst and Gneisau, or capturing three Focke Wulfs with a searchlight. And now for my latest effort I have gone back to my education (historical and legal, with a major Roman element) and that has involved going back in more ways than one, for the research included a great deal of reading, from Caesar to Plutarch and from Adrian Goldsworthy to Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni.