Solemn Vows Secondary Title

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.

Solemn Vows

“A lively, witty and frequently shrewd portrayal of life before Ontario or Canada existed…that puts entertaining round flesh on history’s bones.”
Joan Barfoot

“Gutteridge has a fine ear for Victorian voices, a keen eye for style and gets the characters just right.”
Margaret Cannon

Simon & Schuster 2011

Solemn Vows

A Marc Edwards Mystery

Solemn Vows opens with Marc’s humiliation in the pursuit of an assassin, and the murder of a prominent politician during a public rally.

The investigation takes Marc and his colleagues from the offices of the rebels struggling against the British to the mansions of ruling elite.

It takes them into the lives and bedrooms of several charming ladies.

And it increases Marc’s tension between his duty to the crown and his love for Beth, an American-born widow who continues to be active in the reform movement.

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