The Sparrowhawk Companion

Written by Edward Cline Jena Trammell
Review by Mark F. Johnson

This companion to Edward Cline’s six-volume Sparrowhawk series contains seven essays, by the author and others, which nicely round out the reader’s understanding of the author’s motivation in undertaking such an epic task. Also included is an exhaustive list of characters, ships, and locations to aid in keeping track of all the details of the story. This list is followed by copies of the various speeches included in the series and a chronology of the relevant Acts of Parliament between 1650 and 1775. Finally, there is a list of British currency, a glossary, and a bibliography.

Cline is not only an historian, he is a storyteller with a deep understanding of the turmoil that the idea of breaking away from the British homeland raised in those undertaking this feat. This turmoil is conspicuously missing in historical education in American schools. We grow up believing that the American Revolution consisted of speeches and a few battles and Valley Forge and then victory. We were never really taught about the gut-wrenching decisions and agonizing debates through which the Continental Congress had to suffer. We never discuss the awful dichotomy of loyalty to one’s country versus loyalty to one’s self that many of the colonists had to face. The excellent essays in this companion volume shed new light on this most important facet of the Sparrowhawk series.