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Love, Freedom or DeathLove, Freedom or Death

John Bishop

  • Historical Fiction
  • Relationship Tales

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Why I wrote this book

The book derives from a fascination with Crete that began thirty years ago and has continued through over three dozen visits since, covering many parts of the island on foot, often to the bemusement of the locals who presume I must be German or mad, or both. Inspired by true events, it is an attempt to give something back.

There is a continuing output of non-fiction about the Battle of Crete – one of the enigmas of WW2 – and a couple of recent novels have touched on episodes with authenticity. This is the first in English to engage with both the Battle and the resistance.

The war on Crete may have been small scale in the scheme of things but that also made it up close and personal, especially to the Cretans, whose resistance to occupiers goes back centuries. Against that background this is a story of a man torn in different directions, putting personal loyalties before duty to a corrupt cause, and a woman whose sense of duty is tested to the limit. In that respect, on an island whose history spans millennia, it is an age-old love story set in a turbulent context.


It all started with a promise to a girl he hardly knew...Love, Freedom or Death is a love story set against the resistance struggle in Crete during World War 2. Inspired by true events, it follows impetuous young Dudley Watkins, a New Zealand Sergeant, as he journeys from the disillusionment of defeat in the battle of Crete to the willingness to risk all for the island he has come to love. Love, Freedom or Death tells of a man who kept his promises, but in doing so drove others to break theirs, a man who fought to make the Cretan dream of freedom a reality and a man who falls out with his British masters while falling in love with an unattainable woman. Reminiscent of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, John Bishop's novel is a powerful story of love and betrayal.

About the Author

John Bishop John Bishop was born in Heswall on the Wirral and now lives in Codsall near Wolverhampton. Originally an English teacher, he was for six years a College Principal in Erdington, Birmingham. For longer than he cares to admit he has attended Greek classes at the Brasshouse Language Centre in Birmingham, where Roula, Lina and Eleni have encouraged deeper understanding and enjoyment of the language and culture of Greece.

Book info

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264 pages


John Bishop


Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing

Publication date

1st March 2013

Author's Website