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Many A Hero Untold Kindle Edition
In Many A Hero Untold, Bob Mumby and David Hoggard tell a story of an Ireland at the forefront of events during the 20th century, but a country that nevertheless cuts her own unique path through them. The result is a very different Ireland than the one we know, but one which may feel eerily familiar.
- ASIN : B073YF2DLW
- Publisher : Sea Lion Press; 1st edition (July 14, 2017)
- Publication date : July 14, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 849 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 71 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,349,037 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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It was therefore my good fortune to discover that Many A Hero Untold is not only a first-rate piece of writing with an engaging and confident narrative, but also an excellent primer for Irish politics and culture in the early 20th Century. Although it is an alternate-history story that rapidly departs from what actually happened in reality, David Hoggard and Bob Mumby have obviously conducted a significant and impressive amount of research in the course of writing this title, particularly in regards to the political and social history of the Irish Republic. As a result, I can confidently say that I learnt more about those subjects by reading the first chapter alone than I did in years of history lessons at school, let alone all of the years after leaving education and reading newspapers, websites and social media.
Beginning with a minor change in the political history of the Irish Republic, Hoggard and Mumby effortlessly weave an impressive and disturbingly plausible counter-factual tale of an Ireland that somehow becomes even more polarised in regards to its politics, swinging between Communism and Fascism and having a far greater impact on British, European and eventually even international politics than it did in our reality. I particularly enjoyed the references to Irish involvement in the Spanish civil war, and the chapter that dwells on the impact this had on the life of one of the title’s characters was a high point for me. The concept of the ‘Other International’ was also deeply interesting, developing a fascinating counter-factual scenario that saw the Irish Republic become far more involved in the development of the Non-Aligned Movement in the Cold War.
Just as with Mr Mumby’s previous titles, such as Making Murder Sound Respectable, and his short story The Last Colony in Sea Lion Press’ anthology Remain Means Remain, the world-building is absolutely first-rate, and by the end of Many A Hero Untold, a world exists that is once again calling out for more stories to be told about it. Mumby and Hoggard’s writing is of a consistent high quality throughout the title, and it is a credit to both authors, and the book’s editor, that I could not tell which chapters (or sections) were written by which author, with none of the peaks and troughs that often mark a title written by co-authors who cannot create a consistent narrative voice.
In conclusion, Many A Hero Untold is another high-quality and engaging piece of alternate history published by Sea Lion Press, and one which gives a fresh take on Irish history, and shows how, with just a few small changes, it might have developed very differently.
My problem was partly the implausibility, but much more the fact that the world outside Ireland is almost ignored. Major changes are mentioned in some countries such as India while the changes in the UK and the USA (which I would imagine to be the most affected by these events) are glossed over.
One exception is Spain where for no reason I can see, the Government won the Spanish civil war. (Now I can see it not happening at all if the British pilot and intelligence officer who took Franco from the Canaries to Spanish Morocco to begin the coup were still involved in Ireland or were killed by the IRA along with the rest of the Cairo Gang in November 1920, but how do the events in this book affect the outcome of the Civil War in Spain once it has actually started?)
On the whole, I found the book well-written but very narrowly researched.