More Information
Publication Date: 16 Feb 2017
Publisher: SPCK
Page Count: 304
Author: Simon Parke
ISBN-13: 9781910674468, 9781910674475

The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and her Lover

By Simon Parke
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ISBN: 9781910674468
Available in 72 hours
ISBN: 9781910674475
January 30th 1649. England is not a country that wishes to execute its divinely-appointed king. Yet Charles 1 finds himself shivering on a scaffold in Whitehall, with the axe man by his side . . .

In this brilliantly atmospheric novel, Simon Parke explores one of the most gripping tales in English history. He weaves together the four coinciding stories of Charles, including his extraordinary year-long imprisonment on the Isle of Wight . . . Robert Hammond, the poor man who found himself the king’s gaoler . . . Charles’ remarkable mistress (written out of the records), the super-spy Jane Whorwood . . . and of course, the brilliant and depressed Oliver Cromwell, who is working through his own demons of religion, politics, love and death.
About the Author
Former script writer for Spitting Image and Sony Award winner, Simon Parke is author of the Abbot Peter murder mystery series and the historical novel The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and her Lover. Away from publishing, Simon is CEO of The Mind Clinic and enjoys the loneliness of the long distance runner.
Press Reviews

Simon Parke's well-written and absorbing story of [King Charles I's] final years dramatises the political chicanery,
the shifting loyalties and an unexpected love story before his execution in 1649.

- Elizabeth Buchan

It’s a terrific book, smart and very readable

An extraordinary story has found an extraordinary storyteller. The truth of Charles I and his mistress-spy Jane Whorwood was hushed up and overlooked for centuries, but Simon Parke opens up the story so vividly that you are not only in the room, but in the heads and hearts of the characters. A wonderful, compelling read.

- Simon Jenkins, founder and editor of Ship of Fools

You’ve really gripped my imagination, Simon. So firmly I could get obsessive. I’ve got Mr and Mrs Cromwell living in my head, and I want to dive down the rabbit burrow of every historical detail to know more! Some of the writing is the best you’ve ever done. Vivid, immediate, deft. Funny, too.

. . . conjuring an atmosphere or a moment in a single brief line, a single piece of dialogue – the second half of the book particularly draws the reader in and builds very satisfyingly. I’m in awe of the research which seems impeccable.

Parke’s book retells and reimagines this historical turning-point to lively effect.

well-written and absorbing

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