We are very pleased to announce the launch of the first two Brigand books. Barbary Slave is a historical novel, written by Hadleigh resident Peter Holland. My Eight Year War is a personal memoir of the Second World War, written by the late Alfie Holland, a Suffolk man born in Newmarket in 1919, which has been edited by his nephew Peter.
3.30-5.00pm, Sunday 25th November
Crabtrees Café Bar
66 High Street, Hadleigh, IP7 5EF
A complimentary drink will be provided
You should register for your free ticket online via the following link
About the books
The white slave trade was an essential part of the Ottoman Empire, which had insatiable appetite for manpower, provided by seizing infidel non-believers, whether they were from Africa or Europe. Between 1500 and 1800 it is estimated more than 1 million Christian Europeans were seized.
Britain and Ireland were not as affected as Mediterranean European states, losing about 40,000 over the period, but it was increasingly a problem through the 17th and 18th centuries. The years from 1600 to 1650 were probably the nadir for the British Isles.
Barbary Slave is set in 1631, the year of the notorious Sack of Baltimore, led by the infamous Murat Reis. All of the other characters in Barbary Slave are fictitious but the story of former Spanish Muslims known as Moriscos and the description of Algiers as a major centre for slavery are accurate.
The story of Said, Khaled, Callum, Jack, Laura, Mary, Pedro, Oji, Anna, Mehmed and Madeline, is of lives entwined in this tumultuous year.
My Eight Year War
The events of the Second World War do not need another text book. However, the personal account of an ordinary man, an airman in the RAF, is not common. Alfie Holland left school in Newmarket at the age of thirteen, no qualifications and little prospect of gainful employment. Nineteen years old he was back in his parents’ home town of London, to where his mother had returned leaving his father in Newmarket.
In 1938 he joined the RAF and remained in the military until 1946.
His book, My Eight Year War, is his memoir of the momentous events of which he was a small like millions of other men. This saw him in northern France, as part of the ill-fated British Expeditionary Force, mentioned in dispatches for shooting down enemy aircraft with an adapted Browning machine gun, a narrow escape through Boulogne in May 1940, the Battle of Britain, north Africa, the invasion of Italy at Salerno, the fight over a year to capture Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria, finally being demobbed and life in post-war London.
This rare account of the war by an ordinary man is a noble endeavour. Alfie died in 2004.