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Cromwell: An Honourable Enemy - The Untold Story Of The Cromwelli Paperback – 23 Nov 2000
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From the Author
This book is ahead of its time
As author of this book, I feel that many historians in Ireland are not ready yet for 'an honourable' Cromwell - nor indeed are the people of Ireland. I thought that I would change the history books and public opinion about this much maligned historical figure by publishing the truth about Cromwell's Irish campaign. The reaction - among the under forties on the whole - was good, but among historians and the over forties it was bad. They can't seem to accept that an amateur could discover such a fundamental flaw in Irish history ie that neither Cromwell or his men ever engaged in the killing of any unarmed civilians throughout his entire nine month campaign. The facts are there for all to see. But God bless Ireland the past is still the present here and we MUST have our English hate figures - despite the truth. How sad is that?
Tom Reilly Author - Cromwell An Honourable Enemy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Newspaper columnist Tom Reilly was born in 1960 in Drogheda. Hs is the author of eights books in all. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author, who is from Drogheda, was rather astonished to find that in the civic records of Drogheda dating from 1649 there was no record of the massacre.. The Minute Book of the Corporation of Drogheda from 1649 shows life in the town proceeding as normal. There was no contemporary evidence of a massacre of civilians. The royalist defenders under the earl of Ormonde were of course killed in the assault as was normal. The rapid defeat of the royalist garrison is to be attributed to the rather inept dispositions by the military governor, Sir Arthur Aston who was caught on the wrong side of the bridge over the Boyne and which was not destroyed by the defenders. The battle was short and the royalist garrison quickly disposed or. Aston was one of the few Catholic officers in the royalist army.
Reilly gives a detailed account of all Cromwell's campaign in Ireland which did not last long, for he was recalled to deal with the much more dangerous Scottish army. He had no responsibility at all for anything that happened after his departure in particular for the supposed policy of 'To Hell or to Connaught' another royalist myth.
The author then goes on to try to show the origins of the myth of the massacres of which there were no contemporary eyewitnesses and traces it in detail to royalist circles in the Restoration period.Read more ›
However there are some niggles:
 Not many original documents are mentioned, and the presumption is they've been printed accurately. But one can never be sure. To be fair many have probably vanished or decayed or would be difficult to get hold of in the original.
 Reilly often enough says such-and-such a person never visited Ireland, or some similar definite statement; how can he be so sure? No doubt he's likely to be right, but ...
 He doesn't state the official Irish view of Cromwell. We're not all Irish, and some of us haven't been exposed to the Irish education system. Reilly does lay out clearly the object of Cromwell's military expedition, viz to control Ireland, and take lands from Royalists. But it's left rather unclear. Admittedly a revisionist book doesn't have to deal with every aspect of a topic, but the reason Cromwell's of interest in Ireland is exactly because of what he was supposed to have done. (As an example - take 'plantations'. They couldn't have been for spices, sugar cane, tobacco; were they trees? Or what?) Under the rules of the age, was it accepted that a supporter of a losing side should lose possessions?
 He doesn't give details of real or supposed massacres of Protestants before Cromwell got there. (Or subsequent events such as the 'Black and Tans').Read more ›
One could say Cromwell was luckier than several of his fellow signatories of the King's death warrant. Any who had not died or fled abroad were tried as regicides and were probably the last people in Britain to suffer the medieval death of traitors. Slow hanging cut down while still alive, castrated and disemboweled before being beheaded and chopped into quarters with the parts exhibited around the country. Compare this to the Catholic Babington Conspirators condemned for plotting to put Mary Queen of Scots of the English throne in 1586. After 7 had suffered the full penalty, depending on whom you read either the public or the Queen were so revolted the remaining 7 were allowed to hang until they were dead.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's entirely readable although there are more typos and errors than one would normally anticipate. The argument advanced on its pages is reasonably thought out but lack the... Read morePublished on 11 Aug. 2013 by Frank P Ryan
Whilst it would be unfair to say that this work is badly written, neither is it well written. Worse still, there are no illustrations apart from three maps, one of Drogheda on page... Read morePublished on 19 Jan. 2013 by H. A. Weedon
I have read this book twice,and could.read it again.
Well researched and easy reading,and at last
The truth is out there
An amazing man
It is true that this book is in some respects slightly flawed. Reilly's style is a bit quirky, some may even describe it as amateurish. Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2010 by amateur historian
Historian Tom Reilly was born in Drogheda, the site of one of Cromwell's most notorious alleged massacres. Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2009 by William Podmore
This book fails to apply critical historigraphical methods, is overblown and is really the sort of misplaced hagigraphy we might expect to see from a New Yorker on the 300th... Read morePublished on 23 Sept. 2008 by The Jackal
The ambition is good: re-write the history of the greatest bogeyman in Ireland. Unfortunately Reilly merely fits the facts to suit his pre-determined argument. Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2008 by History Boy
When I studied this period as an undergraduate there was always something uncomfortable not just about what we studied and believed happened, but also the way the evidence was... Read morePublished on 27 Oct. 2007 by BadgerBorg
Over the years I've received some startlingly acerbic reactions to the mere mention of Oliver Cromwell and Ireland and it has long been a personal aim of mine to discover if it was... Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2006 by VanGo
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