It is set at the beginning of the English Civil War and begins with a young girl who is beaten by her father, she runs off to Oxford where she gets work at an inn, meets a rather promiscuous young lass and evils carnal relations with a student (think) he was called Martin... Could be wrong. It then goes on to be about their child and Oliver Cromwell studying at Oxford University. At some point there ISA young lass that the love-child falls for who lives in Kent and turns out to be his half - sister.
Does anyone recognise this? Really wanting to read it again but I can't remember the title to find it!
No, ambercat - just googled that, close but no cigar! This one dealt more closely with the son and Oliver Cromwell. It detailed Cromwell's home life quite well. Trying to remember pertinent bits. I think there is a scene at the battle of Naseby - and there is definately a lot about going to tea int he study of the head of Oxford University - who also goes to this inn quite a lot. I think the girl was called Bess or Maggie.
There is definitely a bit where the love-child meets his (as yet unknown) half sister outside a glove shop in London, they go in, he asks her to choose some gloves then pays for them. Not sure why that bit has stuck in my mind so much!