Delusion: The True Story of Victorian Superspy Henri Le Caron Hardcover – Apr 28 2008
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About the Author
PETER EDWARDS is a reporter for the Toronto Star and author of a number of books including: One Dead Indian: The Premier, The Police and the Ipperwash Crisis; A Mother’s Story: The Fight to Save My Son David with Joyce Milgaard; and The Canadian Encyclopedia of Organized Crime (with Michel Auger). He lives with his wife and family in Toronto, Ontario.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Among the more crazy schemes of the less peaceful was for Irish nationalists in the U.S. to cross the northern border and seize/overthrow Canada. Some versions of this scheming, shortly after the end of the Civil War, called for attacking the Canadian government in conjunction with Louis Riel's metis out on the Canadian prairies.
Edwards' story begins there, with protagonist Henri Le Caron, born in Colchester, England as Thomas Beach, and a recently discharged U.S. Civil War vet. Disturbed by what he's heard from Irish nationalists amongst his Army compadres, Beach (having assumed "Le Caron" to enlist) volunteers his services as a spy to the British crown.
And, starts on a 25-year odyssey of incredible undercover work, until voluntarily coming in from the cold to testify in a British commission of inquiry involving Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell.
It's a great history, and one of which I was totally unaware. That said, the narrative power is a bit iffy, and, I would have liked to have seen more connection of Irish nationalism in the U.S. to American politics, including but not limited to presidential campaigns, vote pandering, etc.
to testify against Parnell, at Parnell's trial.
Buy a good science fiction book instead.