Troubador The Man Who Lived Twice

Released: 28/11/2017

ISBN: 9781788036139

Format: Paperback

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The Man Who Lived Twice


The Man Who Lived Twice tells the remarkable story of a nineteenth century British anti-hero. Colonel George St Leger Grenfell was the black sheep in one of Cornwall’s most illustrious families. His wild speculations in Paris bankrupted his father and drove his brothers and sisters out of their home. Wanted for fraud in France and mosque desecration in Morocco, Grenfell became a soldier of fortune, a mercenary who fought in innumerable campaigns all over the world, always with conspicuous gallantry. He charged with the Light Brigade at Balaclava, defended the bullet-strewn barricades in the Indian Mutiny, hacked his way through the Chinese Opium War and helped Garibaldi to liberate Italy. Sailing to America to fight in their Civil War, ‘Ole St Lege’ became a legend to the gullible hillbillies under his command. As massive armies collided and one hair-raising cavalry charge followed another, this complex man fell in love with a beautiful spy and came to realise that he could no longer run away from his past. In what was to become a spiritual odyssey, Grenfell met the men and women who made, marred and mythologised the American century: the business tycoons and social reformers as well as the Lincoln conspirators and back-shooting gunslingers. Although seemingly indestructible - in one military skirmish he was shot eleven times without serious injury - Grenfell had to endure long years in prison before his luck finally changed. The Man Who Lived Twice describes a personal search for redemption set against the emergence of the United States as a world power.

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This book was a real surprise. I have never heard of David Taylor not to mention General Grenfell , the protagonist of Talylor’s novel . I love historical fiction but a lot of it is romantic drivel or poorly written history woven around a thread bare plot. Taylor’s novel about a dashin civil war general, his romantic life and his battle and political “fights” makes for an interesting and fast moving novel., one which, as they say, wears its history lightly. Highly recommended for something different and a new author to follow. Hope he writes more like this one!

by Andrew Eichner (via NetGalley)

The Man Who Lived Twice by David Taylor is a historical fiction novel about a British Colonel fighting for the Confederacy in the American Civil War. Mr. Taylor, an author and TV reporter, had works published in the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.

Colonel George St. Leger Grenfell, member of an illustrious family, has tried to make a name for himself in banking and war, but someone always failed. Being a wanted man in France and Morocco, Grenfell turned to selling his services as a soldier and fought in campaigns all over the world.

Fighting for the Confederacy in the American Civil War, a war he claims he knows they’ll lose, Ole St. Lege’ because a legend to the people under his command. During his time, Colonel Grenfell meets extraordinary people, and lives long enough to see himself become the villain.

The Man Who Lived Twice by David Taylor is an epic journey, centering around one man who manages to stick himself in the middle of major historical events. Colonel George St. Leger Grenfell ruined his good name in Europe, and is not looking to make is fame and fortune as a mercenary around the world.

Mr. Taylor’s book is a wonderful narrative of a time when someone could reinvent themselves knowing how to weave truth and fiction. I got the feeling that Col Grenfell told his stories so often, that he himself even had a problem distinguishing where truth and myth separated. An 1800s Baron Munchausen, which keeps his fantastic tales somewhat plausible, and enjoys telling and embellishing them every time.

I enjoyed this book very much, it is superbly researched and masterfully written. The author brings forth the brutality of the battlefield, as well as the dangers a femme fatale (Confederate spy Rose Greenhow) can bestow on a man and a nation.

Col. Grenfell is a flawed man, enthralled with war and romance, but unsuccessful in both makes an interesting and colorful protagonist to follow. Much like his main character, the author manages to masterfully blend the lines of fact and fiction to create an enthralling read.

by Zohar Laor (via NetGalley)

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