Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Cavaliers And Roundheads
cops and robbers;
cowboys and Indians;
Cavaliers and Roundheads.
I read a comic strip with a Cavalier as hero and Roundheads as Nazi-like villains. In my teens, I read a series of novels about a Roundhead spy, Nicholas Pym:
Pym's immediate superior, the equivalent of M, was John Thurloe;
Pym also met Cromwell and prevented his assassination;
Pym's enemies were Guido Fawkes, son of Guy, and the Sealed Knot, which answered to the exiled Stuart.
In Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest (London, 1975), Chapter xii, Valeria Matuchek says:
"'...I always had sympathy for the Cavaliers. Maybe that was schoolgirl romantics; and anyhow, the issues may not be identical in Rupert's home.'" (p. 105)
Would you fight for a King against a Parliament? Leon Trotsky, analyzing seventeenth century England, identified three successive "dual powers," actual or potential civil wars:
King versus Parliament - Parliament won;
Parliament versus Army - Army won;
generals versus rank and file - generals won.
The significance of Cromwell was that he was on the winning side each time and thus became Lord Protector, dictator. My sympathies would have been with the Levelers, who wanted common ownership of land and an end to social hierarchies. However, I would have been pleased enough to see the merchants gaining political power as against the aristocrats, which is what came to pass.
"'Nothing ever was forever, anyway. Peace never came natural. The point is, it can sometimes be won for some years, and they can be lived in.'"
-Epilogue, p. 229.
Dominic Flandry and Manse Everard say the same. We recognize Poul Anderson's authorship and philosophy in the Technic History universe, the Time Patrol universe and the old Phoenix multiverse.
"'Enough. I hope you've enjoyed my story.'" (ibid.)
So has Valeria narrated the entire novel?