Reading Robert Harris: Good Stuff!

Began Act of Oblivion a few days ago. It’s her third Robert Harris.

His books are fun, combining history and cat-and-mouse suspense.

At first she found the title a tad melodramatic, but on reading further, she finds it was the name of an actual edict passed by the British Parliament in 1660. She also didn’t know that England sent out ‘hit squads’ to hunt down and punish the 59 men who signed the execution order of Charles I. There is one man who has made it his personal mission to bring two men, in particular, to justice. He assembles his *team*.

  • The usual four men attended: his secretary, Mr. Samuel Nokes, a diligent young lawyer trained at Lincoln’s Inn; Dr. John Wallis, the Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University, the greatest cryptanalyst in England and a supporter of Parliament in the Civil War, who had broken the cipher of the King’s correspondence captured at Naseby and who now, after some persuasion, was making his skills available to the new regime; Colonel Henry Bishop, the Postmaster General, who assumed the committee had prompt access to every letter that passed through the London trading office; and Mr. William Prynne, the MP for Bath, the most fanatical of the anti-regicides in Parliament, who always wore a black leather cowl to conceal the fact that his ears had been cut off in the pillory twenty years before.

Interesting, right?

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