The Riddle of the Sands [not a book review]

Visiting Dublin last weekend led me to learn of the sad end of the author of The Riddle of the Sands, (Robert) Erskine Childers.  To my surprise, I indeed found out when reading about the Irish Civil War of the early 20’s that he was executed by a firing squad as a member of the anti-Treaty Sinn Féin. What could have led the author of the role model of classical spy novels, The Riddle of the Sands, to this tragical ending?! While his book was immensely popular in Britain, to the point of impacting the preparations for war in the years before WWI, and while he served as instructor of pilots towards a possible attack of Germany through the very Frisian islands appearing in the novel, he turned progressively towards Irish nationalism, smuggling weapons on his own boat, and opposing the treaty with Britain to  the point of joining the anti-treaty Sinn Féin. When a pistol was found at his home, he was sentenced to death and executed two days later.

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