|Stephen R. Donaldson||In 1968, Stephen Reeder Donaldson languished in Vietnam. By inclination a conscientious objector, he had been compelled to serve in the armed forces. |
Much later, and after dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first "Covenant" trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.
Donaldson's two year compulsory military duty would be the deep undercurrent of his escapist fantasy writing. In “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”, the protagonist was a leper struggled with disempowerment in a Land he did not really believe in.
| Golden boy with feet of clay,|
Let me help you on your way,
A proper push will take you far -
But what a clumsy lad you are!
|Nelson Mandela||“Faith”, Nelson told me once, “you must never lose your faith.”|
”Have I lost my faith? Or has it been stolen from me? No. I think it lies slain somewhere behind me, like the butchered corpses of the family I left back in Natal.” ~ Samson Zola.
In Laura Resnick's dystopia, years of civil war had torn apart the dream of a Rainbow nation. Samson Zola prepared to assassinate the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Even though he loved him like a father, he saw the need to return South Africa to its people.
|Balrog||In 1918, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was demobilized from the Lancashire Fusiliers and began working in earnest on the Middle-earth stories. A good deal had been written while Tolkien was laid up in a military hospital and at home with trench fever. No long suffering from combat tension, Tolkien was not gripped with a new kind of fear. Not longer fearing death, he wonder if he still wanted to live.|
Sauron [new fear] was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of that shape in which he had wrought so great an evil, so that he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men, yet his spirit arose out of the deep and passed as a shadow and a black wind over the sea, and came back to Middle-earth and to Mordor that was his home. There he took up again his great Ring in Barad-dur, and dwelt there, dark and silent, until he wrought himself a new guise, and image of malice and hatred made visible; and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure."
~“Fall of Numenor”
|George Monck||In 1662, General George Monck became Lord Protector after Parliament's refusal to restore Charles Stuart to the throne, focused the country toward fighting a war to the finish. The Royalist rebels in England were defeated in 1664 (all but in the South East) and Scotland was conquered in 1665. In the United Provinces dropped out of the war in 1664 and Ireland was conquered by 1666. Spain dropped out of the war in 1667 and France finally gave up attemtpting to invade England in 1668. The Commonwealth gained recognition from these nations, and also gained territory in North America, taking Cuba and Hispaniola from Spain and Acadia from France (though they handed back New Netherland as a condition for the Dutch dropping out).|
|When Monck died in 1670, the British Isles returned to a system of total domnation of Parliament. The Commonwealth didn't have a head of state or Government, all MP's were nominally equal. Several factions formed all the same.|
The British didn't get involved in Continental affairs for the rest of the century, instead increasing their naval power, safeguarding their colonies (the Commonwealth and the Dutch fought another brief war in 1677-1679 that came to nothing), increasing their trade and turning themselves into a 'great nation' through men like Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren.
In 1700, the Commonwealth did begin to get involved in Contiental affairs once more when the King of Spain died and stated that he wished for Philippe de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou to succeed him. Philippe was the grandson of Louis XIV, and Parliament feared that Louis would control Spain and her colonies, thus making her a rival for British colonial amitions.
The war began in 1702 and ended in 1713 with a victory for the alliance of the Commonwealth, the United Provinces and the Holy Roman Empire.
During this period, life in Parliament became extremely chaotic and even verged on violence and civil war. The factions in Parliament (the radical aristocrat Whigs, the traditionalist republican Mosstroopers and the ultra-puritan Roundheads) hated one another and came to blows very often. After one particularly violent episode in 1714, when some leading Moostroopers called in the guard to arrest some of their opponents, many leading Whigs called upon the British hero John Churchill to return and impose order. He did.