‘Act of Oblivion is a fine novel about a divided nation, about invisible wounds that heal slower than visible ones . . . it feels like an important book for our particular historical moment, one that shows the power of forgiveness and the intolerable burden of long-held grudges.’ ― The Observer
Robert Harris is one of the great storytellers of our times. His novels explore the dark side of power and the corrosive effect it has on those who wield it. In his latest bestseller, Act of Oblivion, Harris turns his attention to one of the most divisive episodes in English history, the Civil War, in which Royalists and Parliamentarians fought to determine whether the country should be a republic or a monarchy. The novel follows two fugitives who have been found guilty in absentia for the murder of Charles I and have fled to colonial North America to hide among the Puritan settlers there. Richard Nayler, secretary of the regicide committee of the Privy Council, is tasked with tracking down the fugitives and he’ll stop at nothing until the two men are brought to justice.
In November 2022 Harris came to Intelligence Squared where he was joined by award-winning historian Jessie Childs. Their conversation examined the death of a monarch, a divided nation, and an ideological conflict which still resonates today.