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.
Praise for The Midwife of Venice:
“Roberta Rich introduces a unique heroine, and her wry humour leavens a serious subject.”
Globe & Mail
“The Midwife of Venice is a compelling and engaging novel, a well-researched high-stakes drama written with elegance and compassion. Fascinating!”
Praise for The Harem Midwife:
“Rich describes the opulence of royal life in Constantinople set against conspiracy and betrayal… the more heavenly the surroundings, the more treacherous the characters.”
“The details of 16th-century life in Constantinople are delightfully portrayed, the storyline is compelling …. an entertaining read, sure to please”
Doubleday Canada April 2017
Boekencentrum Netherlands 2017
Euromedia Group Czech 2017
Kinneret Israel 2017
Hermes Bulgaria 2017
A Trial in Venice
In 1575, when midwife Hannah Levi rescued the newborn son of wealthy Venetian parents from being slain by his larcenous uncle, she fled with the orphaned child and her husband Isaac to Constantinople.
They doted on their adopted son and allowed themselves to hope there would be no repercussions. Matteo’s entire family had perished in the plague and Hannah and Isaac were his world.
But Matteo, heir to fabulous riches of the di Padovani estate, attracted the attention of Antonio Foscari, a cold scoundrel in desperate need of a fortune. Cunning and flamboyant, sporting a sinister silver nose, Foscari still is no match for his spirited accomplice, the scheming Cesca who had wormed her way into Hannah’s life.
Cesca and Foscari abduct Matteo and abscond with him to Venice. Foscari plots to have the court declare him guardian—and then plans to kill the child. When Hannah, in her distress to save her child, is lured to Venice, she is arrested and jailed. She must stand trial for the murder of Matteo’s uncle.
In this stew of avarice and deceit, there is one truly noble character, the esteemed architect Andrea Palladio who owns the villa adjacent to the lands once controlled by the di Padovani family.
Roberta Rich secured a respected place in the gallery of historical novelists with The Midwife of Venice, which introduced Hannah. An international bestseller, it has been licensed in 18 countries. It is followed by The Harem Midwife and A Trial in Venice. In her next novel, Roberta Rich turns to the rich period in American immigrant history—the colorful, roiling quarter of New York’s 19th Century tenement district. Roberta Rich divides her time between Vancouver Canada and Colima, Mexico.