Please join me in welcoming author D.W. Bradbridge to Let Them Read Books! D.W. is touring the blogosphere with his historical fiction novel, The Winter Siege, first in the Daniel Cheswis mystery series. The English Civil War is a period in history that has always fascinated me, and I'm happy to see more fiction published about it. Check out D.W.'s guest post and enter to win a copy of The Winter Siege!
Today is the 402nd anniversary of the birth of Sir Thomas Fairfax.
Who? I hear you shout, and with good reason. Unless you have a specific interest in 17th century English history, it is unlikely you will know much about Sir Thomas.
For much of the English Civil War, Fairfax was Commander in Chief of the parliamentary forces and it was he who was largely responsible for turning the New Model Army into the formidable fighting force that it was. And yet it was Fairfax’s subordinate, Oliver Cromwell, warts and all, who is remembered by history. One has to ask the question – if Fairfax had been as memorable as Cromwell, would Sellar and Yeatman in 1066 and all that have ever dared refer to the parliamentarians as “Right but Repulsive” whilst simultaneously dubbing the cavaliers as “Wrong but Wromantic”?
History records Fairfax as being a highly effective general who inspired respect even among his enemies. Indeed, King Charles I himself, having been accompanied by Fairfax in January 1647 after being handed over to Parliament by the Scots, said: “The general is a man of honour, and keeps his word which he had pledged to me.” However, despite his influence, Fairfax’s modesty meant he was far less effective as a statesman than the more politically adept and radical Cromwell.
Although he remained committed to the parliamentarian cause, Fairfax publicly refused to become involved in the trial and execution of the King and, despite withdrawing from political life during the Protectorate, he still wielded enough influence in 1659 to be able to play a major role in the Restoration.
Sir Thomas Fairfax is definitely worth remembering, but if his name has never crossed your radar, don’t worry about it. You’re not alone.
In the town where I live, Nantwich, where my novel The Winter Siege is set, Fairfax is noted by some for being the commander who lifted the month long siege of Nantwich, preventing the town from being sacked and pillaged, and, in all probability saving many of the townsfolk from being murdered. His memorial has been the building of a bridge over the River Weaver in his name. However, despite his role in Nantwich’s history, two years ago, not a soul remembered his 400th birthday. History is indeed a strange thing.
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Enter to win a copy of The Winter Siege!
Simply leave a comment with your email address and you're entered!
This giveaway is open to residents of the US, Canada, and the UK, and closes at 11:59pm Thursday, January 30, 2014. Winner will be selected at random.
Thanks, and good luck!
The Winter Siege is on a blog tour!
About the Author:
D.W. Bradbridge was born in 1960 and grew up in Bolton. He has lived in Crewe, Cheshire since 2000, where he and his wife run a small magazine publishing business for the automotive industry.
“The inspiration for The Winter Siege came from a long-standing interest in genealogy and local history. My research led me to the realisation that the experience endured by the people of Nantwich during December and January 1643-44 was a story worth telling. I also realised that the closed, tension-filled environment of the month-long siege provided the ideal setting for a crime novel.
“History is a fascinating tool for the novelist. It consists only of what is remembered and written down, and contemporary accounts are often written by those who have their own stories to tell. But what about those stories which were forgotten and became lost in the mists of time?
“In writing The Winter Siege, my aim was to take the framework of real history and fill in the gaps with a story of what could, or might have happened. Is it history or fiction? It’s for the reader to decide.”
For more information please visit D.W. Bradbridge’s website. You can also find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.