By David Chadwick Aurora Metro, Paperback, £9.99
Liverpool in 1863 was a complicated city with two elements fighting for each side in the American Civil war.
David Chadwick has brilliantly brought to life two of the key opponents in the battle between Abraham Lincoln’s Union and the Confederates.
The lead roles are played by Trinity, an escaped slave befriended by wealthy backers using her in their efforts to end slavery, and Jubal, a Confederate officer who is sent to Liverpool against his wishes to help the opposition.
The two join forces in a brave opposition to those in power who were willing to destroy Jubal’s family background in an effort to gain the cash to buy a warship, being built locally, which could break the Union’s powerful naval blockade.
Jubal’s key role was to be the star attraction at the Liberty Bazaar – a fundraising effort to help wounded Confederate soldiers and their families in the magnificent St George’s Hall, still a major magnet for tourists. David Chadwick has captured the frustrations both sides felt, the fascinating cosmopolitan background which Liverpool provided at that time, and the tensions between the battle for supremacy in a distant land.
It is one of the most exhilarating books I have read in years.