In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
Don Gutteridge, acclaimed poet and novelist, has completed 12 novels in this landmark series starring the dashing Marc Edwards. They will appeal to fans of Patrick O’Brian or Bernard Cornwell.
“Don Gutteridge has taken up his quill and written a riveting yarn of 1830s Upper Canada, steeped in conspiracy and political intrigue. Gutteridge is not only master of this historical period, he writes like a veritable visitor from it. He put me right there alongside his young Ensign Marc Edwards on this first exciting adventure, and I’ll be with him for however many more there’ll be in this wonderful series. Canadian history has never been more gripping and enlightening. The story burns, the pages turn, and the reader learns. Fans of Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O’Brian will love Don Gutteridge and his Marc Edwards Mysteries.”
Leacock Award winning author of The Best Laid Plans
“The story sparkles with the rough-and-tumble life of hard-working locals caught in the insidious fight for their loyalty…written with understanding, compassion and wit. Writers of historical fiction have explored just about every period. Few have tackled the raw treasures in our own backyard. A well-written historical mystery should be both enlightening and entertaining. Turncoat is both.”
Simon & Schuster Canada 2010
McClelland & Stewart Canada 2003
A Marc Edwards Mystery
Marc Edwards, disenchanted with legal studies in London and eager for action, joins the British army in 1835. Alas, he is posted to Fort York in Toronto, a colonial backwater north of Buffalo and Detroit. No place for glory.
The British have lost their southern American colonies and now a fractious populace north of the border chafes under British rule.
In Turncoat, Marc joins the ruling circle to investigate a murder. Was it a political killing by rebels trying to oust the British masters? Or was it a personal attack?
Marc’s loyalty to the British crown becomes complicated when he falls in love with Beth, a Reformer and he finds his sympathies drifting.
Marc solves the crimes but his romance awaits other episodes.