Nick Press and his sister, Anne, live in 17th-century England. The novel spans from the trial and execution of King Charles I to the travesty of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army. Parliament is purged of the King’s supporters, and the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation. Nick and Ann attend the King’s trial, during which the King obstinately insists he has God’s approval and can therefore not be subjected to trial by his subjects. The siblings also attend the King’s execution and hear his declaration of innocence. Oliver Cromwell gradually becomes a dictator, making war against the Dissenters and Levelers, who demand citizen rights. Violent scenes result in their sister’s death and, seeking justice, Nick and Anne escape to immigrate to Virginia in the American colonies.
The Heritage is riddled with violence and cruelty, accurately portraying the historical events drastically changing English history. Nick and Anne are thoughtful, decent people who honor independent thought and publishing the truth. This is a necessary, well-researched and exciting work of highly recommended historical fiction.