11 October 2017

The Levellers' Connection

The Levellers' quest for democratic inclusion and social justice is a theme that pervades my novels.

In the beginning, the predicament of the central character in 'Kuan's Wonderland', echoes that of Kafka's familiar protagonist, K, who cannot escape from an existential trap that brings total oppression. As we learn later, Kuan is also known as K. And as a hint, 'K' is the letter between 'J' and 'L' - the initials for 'John Lilburne'.

In the second novel, 'Whitehall through the Looking Glass', we learn more about K, whose full name is Philip K. Rainsborough. Like Colonel Rainsborough at the famous Putney Debate, he refuses to accept an unjust system imposed by a dictatorial ruler, and chooses to side with those who are willing to challenge it.

In 'The Hunting of the Gods', we are reacquainted with the character who has now adopted the name 'Overton' to protect his identity. Richard Overton wrote many pamphlets to advance the Levellers' cause, one of which carried the title, 'The Hunting of the Foxes', which attacked Cromwell. He was no friend of the Royalists either, and wanted to see true democracy established.