Ancestry * Biography * History
Hello! My name is Edward Rayner and I’m an independent American author. I’m also an amateur genealogist who derives material for my writing by investigating my family’s ancestry for interesting forebears and writing their biographies within the context of significant historical events.
My recent book “The Colonel and the Vicar” is about two of my ancestors that were on opposite sides of the American Civil War… from opposite sides of the ocean… and how there lives intertwined with the historic events of their day. The book also speaks to the considerable international influence on the war, particularly from the United Kingdom.
The main characters are Henry Martyn Tremlett, my great-great-granduncle, who became a Union Army captain in the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment (eventually, a colonel in the 39th Mass.), and the Rev. Dr. Francis William Tremlett, my ancestral first cousin, an Anglican priest who founded St. Peter’s Church in Belsize Park in Camden, England, and was arguably the foremost English collaborator with the Confederate States of America. Historical events are intertwined with the lives of the central characters, together with many other colorful, interesting personalities that contributed to their stories. Henry and Francis were first cousins to one another.
The volume of literature written about the American Civil War is immense, though the scope of the war is thought of by most Americans as a purely American conflict. In truth, the war was very much an international affair, with political intrigue, espionage, and stirring sea sagas that were played out across the Atlantic to Europe and beyond. In most discussions about the war, American history largely focuses on the battles in America while overlooking the political role played by European nations, particularly Great Britain, and the military role played by the navies and shipbuilders involved. In my opinion, those international events greatly influenced at least the length of the war if not events during it, and yet in my opinion these international events are underserved in our history books.
I hope that this post generates some interest on the other side of the pond. I’ve written to book stores in the Camden area, even sent free hardcopies for evaluation, and I’m disappointed that my effort has not warranted even a response. If you’re interested in learning more about the book, Amazon has the book, a description, and a generous preview.
Even though the book’s finished, this blog will continue with future posts.
’til next time,