What Civil War?

The so-called English Civil War, although it involved the Scots, Welsh and Irish as well as the English. Anyway, I don’t mean the American Civil War, or anyone else’s. It was in the 1640’s.

Why am I writing about the Civil War right now?

I must apologise for once again stopping work on Highwaypersons and on The Stone Age Detective. I just had to respond to what’s happening around us today. I’ve been so aware of the divisions in our country, the polarisation and the arguments about the unwritten constitution that makes things work in this country and the dangers of people abusing it. When I saw something on TV about the start of the Civil War, I thought it was so like the present day. That’s why I wrote a post recently about the similarities between the present time and that just before that war.

Which side is the hero on in the Civil War?

He tries to be on neither side as long as he can. He and his family discuss some of the issues but don’t want their differences to drive them apart. You might wonder if that’s realistic, but I hope it’s very realistic. I can’t believe that everyone was a roundhead or a cavalier right at the start. There must have been lots of people who thought the king shouldn’t have absolute power but also thought some parliamentarians were making unreasonable demands. In the same way, I expect a lot of people thought it was time to reform the Church but didn’t agree with everything the puritans said.

If a lot of people were in the middle, why was there a civil war?

Sadly, the king and the key players on the parliamentary side were not good at compromising and things went from bad to worse.

Does the Civil War affect the hero’s family?

The hero’s father is in the House of Lords and his brother is a solicitor, which means they are more aware of the issues than some people. However, as the events take over, everyone in the country has to take sides. But the book is not about the issues: it’s about how people react to them and to each other. Other things divide the family too: things they don’t talk about openly for a long time. Just like today, people would have had other things to worry about on top of all the political stuff. Then there’s the murder!

A Civil War murder mystery?

Yes. Just because there’s a civil war doesn’t mean nobody commits a murder or that people don’t want to bring murderers to justice. The hero has to ask, ‘Is there a connection between the politics and the murder?’ I’m not saying, but before he can solve the murder, he has to solve another mystery. It’s one that I’ve developed from one of the ‘what-ifs’ of history.

Pembroke Castle., Wales, scene of some of the action in the 'English' Civil War.

Pembroke Castle., Wales, scene of some of the action in the ‘English’ Civil War.

I’ll get back to Highwaypersons Book III soon, so now’s a good time to read books I and II to be ready to complete the trilogy when Book III is published..

Book I, Debts and Duties. 

Book II, The King’s Justice