|Captain Fitz: Fitzgibbon, Green Tiger of the war of 1812 Written by Enid Mallory|
Review by Alex Davis
Captain Fitz: Fitzgibbon, Green Tiger of the war of 1812 by Enid Mallory is the story of an Irishman, James Fitzgibbon, who became a British soldier and fought in the war of 1812 in
I thought at first that Captain Fitz would be an odd book to read, about a lone character in a fairly large war that happened a long time ago. But in truth, Captain Fitzgibbon is only part of the story; this book is really a history of the war of 1812. I also noticed that despite the advanced age of this conflict, the author Enid Mallory has managed to acquire an astonishing amount of details about the life of this one character. Considering that many of the documents dating back to that time would be business related, it is quite a feat of research that the author could have compiled enough information to build what is basically, a biography.
Captain Fitzgibbon began his military career at the young age of 15, joining the Knights of Glins Yeomanry, later joining the Tarbert Infantry Fencibles. He would go on to be a sergeant in the British army, being led by Colonel Isaac Brock and fighting in the war of 1812. He would later fight in some of the most memorable battles of that war, and when the war was over, he would fight again to quell the
Captain Fitz is not a bad book, but it is an odd format for the story that it tries to tell. Though it is intended to be a story about Fitzgibbon, it constantly reads as a history of the war of 1812. It creates strong characters out of Fitzgibbon and his friends, and also gives a lot of narrative to the actions taken in the story. I feel as if this book would have worked better in a different format, perhaps as a historical novel, written from the perspective of Fitzgibbon. So much of his personal life and his quotes are included, I find it difficult to believe that this could not be accomplished. But aside from the way it is told, the story is there, well written and is an interesting and more personal perspective on the war of 1812.
Captain Fitz may not be the centre of gravity for his own book, but the book stands as a very good story, told on an exciting and personal way. I would recommend it not only for those who are interested in the war of 1812, but also for those who like a good story about a hero. In this case, an Irish one.
Captain Fitz: Fitzgibbon, Green Tiger of the war of 1812 by Enid Mallory. Published by Dundurn in 2011, includes 206 pages, b/w images, index. ISBN: 978-1-4597-0118-2. soft cover: $ 19.99