From the Author
How could it be that I'd never heard of that?
It turned out that others hadn't either.
The more I read about Cromwell's Reign of Terror, the hotter my Irish-American blood boiled. I knew I had to write something aboutthis obscure yet pivotal period of Irish history.
My fierce maincharacter, Freddy, is an O'Brennan from County Kilkenny because my Irish grandmother was a Brennan from County Kilkenny. Except for Cromwell, the characters in the novel are fictional. Thestory, however, is based on historical accounts.
In1649 Cromwell led an invasion of Ireland many call genocide and ethnic cleansing. Duringthe 1650s, Ireland lost about 41 percent of her people. The IrishFamine of 1845 to 1852, by comparison, resulted in a loss of 16 percent of thepopulation.
Cromwell hated Catholicism and wanted to punish Irish Catholicsfor the rebellionof 1641. Catholicismwas banned; priests were wanted men; Irish Catholics who were not murdered were thrown offtheir land and often "spirited away" to the Caribbean. An estimated100,000 Irish citizens, mostly women and children, were sold to English sugar plantation owners andliterally worked to death. Some were flogged to death. They suffered horrific conditions - disease, starvation, and torture.
"The curse of Cromwell upon you" is a popularIrish saying. To this day, Irish mothers threaten naughty childrenwith the ultimate punishment: "Cromwell's going to get you!"
Thebitterness caused by what took place during the 1650s has been a powerfulsource of Irishnationalism for morethan 350 years. Irishslavery was an atrocity that should not be forgotten. My hope is that this novel will help bring it to light.