Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The next Robert Louis Stevenson... never, but hold on a sec.....

I was described by one of my peers as "The next Robert Louis Stevenson", and I dismissed the whole idea as "bunkum"! R.L.S. was one of a kind, and even to be compared to him was an honour.

BUT.... as I am writing Jamie 2, I am getting strange coincidences happening....... (Let me set the scene...)

I like to delve into history for the smallest of details... E.G.; When Jamie, (back in 1707), spends the night at an inn, I like it to have actually BEEN there in 1707; just my wee quirk.

But the inn I decided apon was the "Seven Stars" in Bristol (actually there in 1707) and the owner at the time was a JOHN HAWKINS! ..... (Jack Hawkins was the main character in RLS's Treasure Island)

So I write on, and one of the REAL jacobites in 1707/8 is a "Squire Trewlawney", from Redruth, in Cornwall..... (Damn, Squire Trewlawney is a RLS character, and so is seaman "Redruth".)

I continue; one of the real jacobites in 1707/8 is an Irishman called "Colonel Hooke"..... (Too close to J.M. Barrie's "Captain Hook" for comfort.)

And if (In an effort to be historically correct) I kept all this actually "IN" my Jamie 2, I'd be slagged off for stealing from RLS etc.

Maybe I should just be like some historical novellists; make everything up, and not give a crap about actual history!

(And we all know those movies, don't we.......)

(Pic, BTW, is Robert Newton, Long John Silver in Disney's Treasure Island in 1950)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Glorious Revolution of 1688

The Glorious Revolution has always bored me, until I eventually found out what it actually entailed.

Here it is in spectacular simplicity....
King James VII was crowned King of Great Britain in 1685, taking over from his childless brother, Charles II.

He was a catholic, and therefore went against the majority of the actual populace, who were 80% protestant.

He made few friends in his 3 years in power, but rode roughshod over the government, parliament and army/navy, by appointing catholics over protestants in all high posts.

In 1688, he committed the ultimate blunder; by having a son (catholic, of course) in dubious circumstances. The protestants got so pissed off about the whole thing, they "invited" an invasion force from Holland, which contained James', sister's husband; William of Orange.

Having already pissed off the armies and navy, they were allowed to pass "un-bloodied".

Hence; "Glorious Revolution".

James was Britain's last Catholic monarch, and spent his days in exile in the court of King Louis of France, dreaming of ways to get back on the throne.

(Not a bad job, but someone had to do it)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Reasearch; Edinburgh Castle, and why I love both.

Many people ask me about the kind of research I do for my books, then sigh, and insert words like; tedious, back-breaking, and such. Now, I love research... here's how one such outing into wikipedia changed Jamie2.

I was looking for a Jacobite family in Fife around 1708, to base an overnight stay for Jamie. (Even for small details like this, I try to stay true to history) I tried a few of the bigger families, but none really fit the story, then I found that Tarvit House had been re-designed by Sir William Bruce. I liked the name and dug deeper.

Turns out Sir William had been openly Jacobite, and a Stuart man all his life, and his eldest son was in London, actually sitting in his father's seat in the English (sorry, British) parliament. (So a family in deep schism there... I liked this.) One more bit of digging put Sir William in a cell in Edinburgh Castle in 1708.

Since Jamie was in Scotland to deliver letters, it only took a wee bit of backstory to put Jamie into a treacherous invasion of the castle. The research had changed the book. And for the better.

NOW... the story doesn't stop there. A look at the history of Edinburgh Castle shows that a new part was under construction in 1708; the Queen Anne Building. That gave Jamie a chance to sneak in as part of the work team. I mean, the story was writing itself!

Research. Love it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...