Books by Dr. Robert Parrish



The Diaries of Alessandro Da Veneto, The First Diary

My name is Alessandro, and I have been alive for more than eight hundred years.

Born in Venice in the twelfth century, Alessandro finds himself storming the gates of Constantinople with the Crusades -- only to be seriously wounded in the attack and left for dead.

Or at least he should have been dead. Miraculously coaxed back to health by a woman possessing knowledge of ancient healing powers, Alessandro slowly understands that somehow, as his friends and lovers become older with the passage of time, his face remains unmarred as it was the day he awoke from his injuries. Eventually forced to leave the people who have grown to be his family, Alessandro must travel from destination to destination, each time making a new place his home for a few years and leaving before his secret is discovered. He stamps his personal touch on many great works of art through his travels, and he flourishes in profession after profession.

"The Diaries of Alessandro da Veneto" are packed with danger, love, and a lush ground-level sense of history. Through the eyes of a brilliant man and his memoirs, Alessandro gives his readers a glimpse into a richness of art, politics and culture of the time periods through which his journalist wanders. Alessandro has an articulate and sensitive voice and all the quiet power of his vast years, and his detailed descriptions, are as captivating as the countrysides themselves.



The Diaries of Alessandro Da Veneto, The Second Diary

The second diary records Alessandro's departure from plague-ravaged Venice to travel many years in Spain and Portugal at the time the Iberian provinces were moving toward nationhood.  He purchases a wine estate in the Chianti Valley in lower Tuscany but later leaves to follow Marco Polo's route to Cathay.  Captured by the Mongols, Alessandro witnesses the conquests and brutality of  Tamerlane for seven years before proceeding to China at the time of the Ming Civil Wars.  He welcomes the Fifteenth Century while in the South Seas on a giant dragonship of the Ming Dynasty.



The Last Sailmaker

“East of the sun and west of our tomorrow lies an island, uncharted and without a name.”

So begins a story inspired by an old dog-eared journal with most of its pages missing I found many years ago in a large box of memorabilia at my Grandmother McCormick’s. It gained my attention because it was well written, when none of our known ancestors at that time had advanced beyond elementary school. She passed while I was in the service, and no one knew what happened to the partial diary. Decades later, remembrances of that lost journal with its two penciled drawings provided the basis for this novel and its intentionally primitive illustrations.

During the late Nineteenth Century, when a three-masted barkentine is driven onto the rocks of a remote South Seas island, the only survivors are a crusty sailmaker and the cabin boy who was on his first voyage. They learn to cope with hardship and danger, and their internal clocks slowly attune to the pulse of nature and their small island. In the end, the sailor becomes a creature of the land, while the boy is marked by the sea forever. 


Redtown Boy

“Redtown Boy” is subtitled “Memoirs of a Dinosaur.” Aside from being a lizard, a dinosaur may be one who is “anachronistically outmoded.” There you go…..

Redtown in 1935 was a brickyard company town of nine unpainted wood houses three miles west of the Ohio River near Bellaire and Wheeling. Without electricity, light came from oil lamps and heat from coal stoves. Water was drawn from a cobblestone well. Housing was free for brickyard employees, but all were without income when the yard closed as winter froze the clay pit. Men scratched out what they could to get their families through until the spring thaw. Redtown was my home for the first six years of life; my Camelot in the midst of the Great Depression.

The primitive and desperately poor conditions made us tough, but they were set in an environment of great freedom. No governance existed, and one could do as he or she wished if it didn’t disrupt others. Favorable vicissitudes prompted me to later accrue a number of university degrees and to work professionally in five states, but the stamp of Redtown was always smoldering deep inside. It gave me an edge.


The  Hunchback of Notre Dame
 (A Musical Play)    

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a story of love and betrayal, and of justice without mercy, in times even more troubled than these.

(The attendant 20 songs [under separate cover] are being finalized, in contemplation of a 2017 stage performance.)            




Richard III in the Roaring '20s

". . . I determined at Tewkesbury that the crown would someday be mine. . . . Dangerous plots have I laid, and slanderous rumors have been circulated. The hour of my success finally approaches."

So it begins. . . . Shakespeare's bloody play has been condensed into two acts and set in the 1920s.  




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