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The Last Roundhead

(Blandford Candy #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  27 reviews
"They say I am the last of them alive; they say I am the last roundhead."

Ancestor to Colonel Blimp, Sir Blandford Candy is an irascible old drunk with a hatred of poets and a love of hats. After an argument with his new neighbour Alexander Pope, he looks back on his life and the start of the Civil War.Young Blandford sets off for London following an illicit affair with h
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2015 by Holland House (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The English Civil War is so often portrayed as a conflict between the royalists and the puritans that one forgets it began as a conflict between the king and parliament. So it is interesting to read a novel set during this initial period before the whole edifice of English society had been overturned but when, nevertheless, structures were beginning to crumble.

Cleverly dovetailed into history, with its spurious but convincing provenance and its cast of real and invented characters, The Last Roun
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've come across lately, both immensely entertaining and relentlessly well written. It should appeal especially to fans of the Flashman novels, though it isn't as consistently facetious as that series. There are instances that give the book real depth—I would point particularly to a section about a charcoal burner at about the midpoint of the book. Though apparently an isolated episode, this introduces a mood and a perspective that influence one's reading of the res ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading The Last Roundhead(I received an ARC from netgalley). Evans has a great sense of history and a bawdy sense of humor. The book was a quick and fun read but my enjoyment was limited because the book presupposed a deeper knowledge of England's civil war than I possess. Recommended.
Samantha Morris
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Evans' novel, The Last Roundhead, in a competition just before Christmas. So I began to read as soon as I received it, finishing it just a couple of days into 2019.

Wow. All I can say is, wow.

I must admit I was a little wary about reading a novel based in the English Civil War again, as the ones I have read have set the bar seriously high. And I was even more wary that this one is told from the perspective of a Parliamentarian. But, this novel blew all of my ex
Norton Stone
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is historical fiction written by a historian who can write fiction. That may sound bloody obvious but there is a massive difference between historical non-fiction and the narrative of a fiction. The author must understand two very different disciplines and Evans has a masterly understanding of both. The detail is mesmerising yet dropped into the narrative with such ease you would imagine this was written in the period it is set. Cervantes had the advantage of a certain proximity to the age ...more
David "Thorne" Luckhardt
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the English Civil Way by Jemahl Evans. I know quite a lot about the history of the conflict, which improved the experience. Reminiscent of the Flashman series in tone and footnoted structure, Evans also rewards those who have studied the period with a wealth of gritty detail and practical soldiering. Read a trade paperback review copy sent to me from the UK.
Kate Vane
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
The Last Roundhead is the story of Sir Blandford Candy and his adventures as Roundhead soldier and intelligencer (spy). In 1642 he is sent to London by his family, having disgraced himself at home with an affair, and is asked to deliver letters to his uncle, a member of parliament. His uncle gives him choices — return home, go to the New World, or accept a commission to fight with his uncle, and that is what he decides to do.

Candy is a strong character and circumstances mean he has a life full o
John Walker
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The back of this book states "Flashman meets the Three Musketeers..." with footnotes researched in the back just like GMF idid for his Flashman's.

This book is about the English Civil War (if one can call wars civil), focusing on one Blandford Candy (nicknamed Sugar) who find himself a unwilling participant in fighting the King of England. Blandford has his moments along with his uncle Sir Samuel Luke in fighting the King's forces. The battles of Edgehill and Turnham Green plus several attempts
Rebecca L.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Last Roundhead brings the time surrounding the English Civil War to life with attention to minute historical detail. The protagonist, while not altogether likable, is incredibly entertaining. I enjoyed following his adventure and seeing all the close escapes and challenges that he faced. While reading this book, I learned more about English history and was inspired to do more research to see what was fact and what was fiction. The author blends these both together quite well.

I prefer charac
James Kemp
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to James by: Jemahl Evans
The best historical fiction I have read in years!

This is the tale of Blandford Candy, the last living roundhead in 1719 when he wrote his memoirs. In the long hot summer of 1642 he is forced to leave home because his sister has discovered that he is having an affair with his eldest brother's wife to be. He rides up to London in search of fame and fortune, just in time to be enlisted in his uncle's Regiment. It is by far the best historical fiction that I have read since I finished reading the Fl
The Reviewer
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it

The Last Roundhead takes place during the English Civil War (1642-1651). The Roundheads were those on Parliament’s side (the side against Charles I). The Roundheads ended up winning, establishing a new government under Oliver Cromwell (after Cromwell died, Charles II, the exiled son of Charles I, became King of England and they returned to the monarchy).

The main character of this novel, Blandford Candy, was a Roundhead. Blandford reminded me of a slightly more competent version of the fantasy ch
John Bayliss
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Following an ‘indiscretion’ involving his eldest brother’s fiancée, Blandford Candy is dispatched (not entirely willingly) to his uncle, Sir Samuel Luke, and finds himself enrolled in the parliamentary forces in the English Civil War: first at the Battle of Edge Hill and later as a ‘scout’ – basically a spy – for Parliament. As a scout, Blandford becomes something of a 17th century James Bond (the scene in which the newly appointed scouts are provisioned with the tools of their trade did rather ...more
Matthew Willis
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are various tests that every historical novel has to meet before it can be considered a success. The Last Roundhead by Jemahl Evans passes these with flying colours The historical world of the English Civil War is rendered so credibly it’s easy to imagine the author experienced the 1640s himself. The Last Roundhead is a modern novel, of course, but it feels beautifully of the time in which it is set. Everything from period insults and expletives to sexual and religious politics feel right. ...more
Brian Kitchen
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I heard that the hero of ‘The Last Roundhead’ was an English Civil War, Flashman-type character, I just knew that I had to read the novel and I’m really glad that I did. Although there are similarities between ‘Flashman’ and Blandford ‘Sugar’ Candy, Blandford is more honest, braver and truthful. Yes he whores and drinks and likes hats, but whereas Flashman was more like a comic book character, Blandford is real and can even be found in Britain today.
Having seduced his eldest brother’s inten
Abi Robins
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, signed
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I really wasn’t sure what to expect as it is the first giveaway I’ve ever won. It was a nice little extra to find a personalised signing and I can tell Jemahl that I definitely did enjoy!

I wasn’t expecting to hugely enjoy this book, bad I know but it isn’t something I’d normally pick up and I just applied on a whim to the giveaway. I am so glad I did because this book was such a good read and so fun! I became comrades with our main character Candy ver
Jack Bates
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well it took me ages to finish this - but not because it was a slow read or anything. Blame the US Election and the iPad that allows me to play Fantastic Beasts instead of reading. Tut tut.

I bought this for my mum last year after encountering Jemahl on a writer's forum. The English Civil War is one of my favourite historical periods so I'd been looking forward to reading it.

Blandford 'Sugar' Candy is a great protagonist, being young, foolish and rather full of himself, and this is a well constr
thanks to net galley and the publishers for the book for an open and honest review.
have always been interested in the English civil war in both non/fiction and found this book interesting with a family being split by differing loyalty but the only problem had with the book was the quick ending but assume this will be a series of books.
James Sparks
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to win a copy of this book in a competition. I was pleased to win as I had only entered for this book as it seemed so genuinely interesting. I wasn't disappointed (much).

The story is good. The period of history is interesting, and it's well told throughout The Last Roundhead. The characters are well formed and that's always the best sign of a book for me. Blandford Candy has that sort of brash personality that means you end up rooting for him, despite a few faults. The other cha
Isobel Gibbons
Not my normal genre but I must say I really enjoyed this novel. it opened my eyes on the civil war and the politics surrounding it without distraction from the story. well written well researched and a good read . I am not going to go to deep into this nove; as that might spoil it for other readers suffice to say it is now doing the rounds of the family and so far after 6 people have read it from nineteen to sixty five no poor reviews enjoy.
Keith Currie
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Of fartleberries and excrement
An episodic, picaresque, scatological account of the opening years of the English Civil War, as retold by its last survivor, Blandford (Sugar) Candy, from the vantage point of extreme old age. This is entertaining enough and appears to be the first in a series of pseudo-autobiographical reminiscences which will recount the history of the war, at least judging from the abrupt ending of this volume. Be aware that about 10% of the whole is a series of footnotes on the
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I was unsure when I requested this book from NetGalley however I am a bit of a history buff and this covers a time I am lacking in knowledge.
The idea of a partial autobiography by an ancestor of Colonel Blimp sounded a bit too silly to pass it by.
Well, what can I say? Between family archives, records from the period, war time archives and such the autobiography was shown to be a true record. There were more names and places than I thought I would recognise (some families are always the baddies,
Tom Williams
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book - a fabulous read and terrifyingly well researched.

Everybody knows about the Civil War, don’t they? Those dashing Cavaliers and miserable Roundheads; the heroic cavalry charges; the feathered hats and the armies marching across a bucolic 17th century English countryside?

If you cherished any such illusions, Evans will be quick to burst your bubble. He tells the story from the point of view of the last surviving Roundhead, 95 years old, bitter and angry and, for his sins, livi
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I got the book from Netgalley.

The first time I started reading the book, I gave up. But then I decided to give it another try because the description sounded really interesting. And it turned out to be the correct decision because I liked the book. The fact that the intro did not pull me in at the first reading is my only reason for giving this book 4 stars instead of five.

What I know of the Civil War is that it was between the King and Cromwell, or more exact, Parliament. Everything that went d
Michael Bully
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Entertaining novel by a writer who seems to have really researched the English Civil War. I can't remember when I learnt so much from reading the endnotes in a work of historical fiction. Also enjoyed the range of quotes from contemporary poets that opened each chapter.
Opening in 1719 with former Parliamentarian veteran ,Sir Blandford Candy , looking back as a nineteen year old soldier in 1642 and 1643. Candy joins up after scandalising his Royalist brothers whom he loathes. The War dividing fam
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sorry, this one didn't really live up to its promise. The story was rather far-fetched, and while it seemed pretty accurate historically, I just didn't believe in the characters.
I found it quite a solid read, and had to force myself in parts to keep going. Then in other sections it was pretty good.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable romp

An enjoyable romp through the early stages of the civil war. All the major characters flit in and out of the narrative. Will continue to follow Blandford 's escapades.
Maya Panika
May 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
The plot – the tale of a young boy swept up in the events of the English Civil War, who joins the roundhead army, all told from the memory of a very old man – is fair enough though it failed to engage me. The plot is all and description is kept very much to a minimum as the lad fights and eats and wenches his way through war-torn England – unless we are speaking of battles and weapons, when the description becomes interminable; 4 whole kindle pages at one point, on the workings of a new pistol, ...more
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2020
Jemahl Evans
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
B. Lloyd
rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2015
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Born in Bradford Upon Avon to nomadic Welsh school teachers; Jemahl was brought up in a West Wales mining village during the 70s and 80s. He has pursued a lifelong passion for History, inspired by his grandfather’s stories and legends. Jemahl was educated in Christ College Brecon, St Mary’s University College (Strawberry Hill), and U.W.E. Bristol.

Jemahl graduated with an MA in History, focussing

Other books in the series

Blandford Candy (3 books)
  • This Deceitful Light (Blandford Candy, #2)
  • Of Blood Exhausted (Sir Blandford Candy Adventure Series Book 3)

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48 likes · 17 comments
“I stripped a pot from one of our dead. Lesson learned, a hat is for whoring or dancing, wear a helmet for battle.” 0 likes
“Please behave tonight, drink not overmuch. Put not your knife in your mouth, and no rude tales. Especially not the Turk in Lesbos one, which I am certain is not physically possible.” 0 likes
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