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Cromwell was Framed: Ireland 1649 Paperback – August 29, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Amateur historian Tom Reilly has almost single-handedly taken on the might of academia with regard to Cromwell. He has appeared on national TV and radio in both the UK and Ireland in both documentaries and chat shows. He lives in County Louth, Ireland.
Top customer reviews
This engagingly-written book includes details of Cromwell's destruction of Catholic churches, of his decision to storm a town rather than accept its surrender contingent upon allowing its inhabitants free exercise of their Catholicism, of his ethnic cleansing of Ireland east of the Shannon ("to Hell or Connacht"), and of his shipping of innocents to slavery in "the Tobacco Islands," etc.
Despite the genocidal policies of Britain's State Church in Ireland at the time, this book attacks one religion; Catholicism. On page 46 the author states; "It was the Catholic clergy that was the source of Ireland's woes and it was they with whom he (Cromwell) had major issues, not the people of Ireland." As to Cromwell's pious platitudes of coming to save the people of Ireland the author approvingly writes (also page 46) "...there is absolutely no good reason to believe he was lying."
So Author Reilly, having cast substantial doubt whether Cromwell oversaw the killing of Drogheda's noncombatant inhabitants, he extrapolates that reasonable exculpation into a strange claim that Cromwell is also innocent of all of his other crimes detailed in this book.
This book contrasts sharply with perhaps the only other hagiographic portrayal of Cromwell; "Life of Cromwell," by J.T. Headley (1848). Though Headley's admiration of Cromwell exceeds Reilly's, and he matches Reilly's expressed hatred of Catholicism, Headley defends Cromwell, not by attempting, like Reilly, to exonerate him, but for being no more murderous to the Irish than Britain's monarchs; as follows;
(Headley's page 302): "The truth is, Ireland has ever been regarded as so much common plunder by England. From the twelfth century till now, she has, with scarcely one protracted interval, suffered under the yoke of her haughty mistress; and it is not just to select out one period (Cromwellian) in order to stab republicanism. We have read history of modern civilization pretty thoroughly, and yet, we know of no examples of violated faith, broken treaties, corruption, bribery, violence, and oppression, compared to those which the history of the English and Irish connexion presents."
"If the Commonwealth had lasted, Ireland would have been a Protestant kingdom and her subsequent misfortunes avoided."
So, three stars for "Cromwell was Framed;" all three for the author's willingness to dig and to expose academic slackness.