book cover of The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington
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The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
A Finalist for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History

“A clever and imaginative tale.” —Steve Berry,
New York Times bestselling author

A thought-provoking novel that imagines what would have happened if the British had succeeded in kidnapping General George Washington.


British special agent Jeremiah Black, an officer of the King’s Guard, lands on a lonely beach in the wee hours of the morning in late November 1780. The revolution is in full swing but has become deadlocked. Black is here to change all that.

His mission, aided by Loyalists, is to kidnap George Washington and spirit him back to London aboard the HMS Peregrine, a British sloop of war that is waiting closely offshore. Once he lands, though, the “aid by Loyalists” proves problematic because some would prefer just to kill the general outright. Black manages—just—to get Washington aboard the Peregrine, which sails away.

Upon their arrival in London, Washington is imprisoned in the Tower to await trial on charges of high treason. England’s most famous barristers seek to represent him but he insists on using an American. He chooses Abraham Hobhouse, an American-born barrister with an English wife—a man who doesn’t really need the work and thinks the “career-building” case will be easily resolved through a settlement of the revolution and Washington’s release. But as greater political and military forces swirl around them and peace seems ever more distant, Hobhouse finds that he is the only thing keeping Washington from the hangman’s noose.

Drawing inspiration from a rumored kidnapping plot hatched in 1776 by a member of Washington’s own Commander-in-Chief Guard, Charles Rosenberg has written a compelling novel that envisions what would take place if the leader of America’s fledgling rebellion were taken from the nation at the height of the war, imperiling any chance of victory.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Fresh, fun fiction that weaves some intriguing historical themes of what might have happened. This atypical escapade exudes all the right touches. A clever and imaginative tale." - Steve Berry

"Wonderful! From the very first page a thrilling, beautifully imagined ‘what if’ story—I read it straight through at a gallop!" - Max Byrd

"Skillfully plotted Revolutionary War ‘alternate history’ with a gripper of a title you can’t pass by without reading the novel. Has all the marks of a winner." - John Jakes

"If you love history, you love to speculate. When it comes to the American Revolution, Charles Rosenberg can speculate with the best of them: What if the British captured George Washington and spirited him off to England? And that's just the beginning of this hugely satisfying journey through time... a fascinating premise, a brisk pace, a storytelling high-wire act performed as deftly, convincingly, and entertainingly as it can be done. If you love historical speculation, you will love this novel." - William Martin

"It isn't difficult to ask a what-if question. But it's far from easy to bring a highly engaging, thought-provoking what-if scenario to life. Charles Rosenberg has done exactly that in this masterful novel full of surprises. A terrific read from start to finish." - Andrew Nagorski


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