Showing posts from August, 2018

Jemahl Evans- author of 'The Last Roundhead'

Jemahl Evans interview part one 

Jemahl Evans -pic supplied by the author

I was delighted to interview author  Jemahl Evans via Email recently. His lead character -Sir Blandford Candy- " an irascible old drunk with a hatred of poets and a love of hats" , was ninety five years old in 1719, and  the sole surviving Roundhead.

 One enthusiast summed up Jemahl's 2015 novel, 'The Last Roundhead', as '"Flashman meets the Three Muskateers in a picaresque romp through Stuart England" and the sequel, 'This Deceitful Light' , is certainly of a similar nature. A collection of five short stories 'Davenants Egg and Other Tales' (2017) , all connected to the 1643 Siege of Gloucester, has also appeared, demonstrating the bitter humour and the bizarre, as well as the heartbreak to be found in a civil war.

People looking for stories about dashing cavaliers or Puritan idealists building a new Jerusalem will probably not immediate…

Royalist Poet Robert Herrick

The Works both Humane & Divine of Robert Herrick Esq

On this blog, there have been posts about the use of panegyrics in honour of luminaries such as Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell. But probably not enough has been written about Royalist poets- besides Richard Lovelace.However I  recently found a work titled 'Ben Johnson and the Cavalier Poets. Selected and Edited by Hugh Maclean ( with Authorative Texts Criticism)  and published in 1974 in a local charity bookshop.  So this post will be one of series of features to help redresses the balance. And I will start with  Royalist clergyman Robert Herrick ( 1591- 1674) .                                           

                         Robert Herrick 1591-1674  

                Robert Herrick was a goldsmith apprentice from a 'Trade' family  who were wealthy enough to send him to Cambridge University in 1613. He graduated in 1617, obtained an MA in 1620, and was ordained as a minister in 1623. It's not clear how …

Edmund Waller's Panegyric to Cromwell

Edmund  Waller (1606- 1687) Poet and Plotter
Recently finished reading 'The Last Roundhead' , a superb novel by Jemahl Evans and was reminded that poet Edmund Waller was a leading figure in a doomed Royalist rebellion that hardly got off the ground in London in 1643. The capital was firmly in the hands of the Parliamentarian forces. Waller was MP for  Agmondesham, Buckinghamshire, and related to both Oliver Cromwell and John Hampden, but had sent money to King Charles in Oxford in 1642.

Waller and leading co-conspirator Nathaniel Tomkins were arrested on 31st May 1643. They were betrayed, most likely due to being naive and indiscreet, and totally underestimating the rudimentary intelligence service that Parliament was starting to assemble.

In the aforementioned novel, Waller is portrayed as breaking down completely, offering bribes and betraying as many of his cronies  A typical view . As one biographer declared " Poets are in general poor politicians a…