A MESSENGER FOR PARLIAMENT by Erik Christian Haugaard


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By choice a young campfollower of Parliament's army, John (his buddies nickname him Easy Jack) is really the educated son of an Oxford vicar and he's ready to match words and fine thoughts with any man. Twelve-year-old Oliver, who thinks of himself only as the insignificant son of a failed carpenter, is in awe of John's idealism, and Haugaard clearly is fascinated with the suave repartee--so much so, that when John is injured by highwaymen and Oliver is left alone to carry his secret message for Cromwell through a danger-filled countryside, he quickly teams up with a penurious but talkative actor. Oliver finally delivers the message to his powerful namesake and we're promised a sequel unfolding his further adventures as ""Cromwell's boy""--a pleasant enough prospect for those who savor the polished dialogue, or who've picked up the hint of self-discovery in Oliver's complaint that John is a Roundhead by choice while he is one ""by birth."" On the other hand, Haugaard's England can't compare to his stark evocation of 17th century Scandinavia in The Little Fishes (1967), nor is this the kind of fully plotted series debut that wins an instantly loyal following.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1976
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin