My latest novel required immense research through private and state papers, and private letters & journals in order to investigate fully the underhanded deceits that occurred at that time, thus sifting through the propaganda was an enlightening experience. Overall, the Royal Series revolves around two families based in the county of Somersetshire, and selected members of the Royal Court.
The Gantry's reside at Axebury Hall,
The Thornton's at Loxton House.
Knoll house has a major part in this novel, as does Henry Gantry,
While it's never easy to retain a high level of entertainment value alongside essential points of historical accuracy, as a reader I've always despised narrative info dumps of historical matter, thus I do my best to drip-feed historical details via character eyes, their individual viewpoints, and by way of dialogue. Likewise an unbiased approach to history is not always as simple as it sounds, but again I do my best to present both sides of any divide, though it is almost impossible to like a person of their time, or an unsavoury character, who's given to evil intents and self-advancement, and at any cost to others' and their loved ones.
This novel is set at a time in history when deception and court intrigues were as bad, if not worse, than that of outside factions, even where Parliament based influences held sway. For readers unfamiliar with this period in history, it was a treacherous time in more ways than one, not least within royal circles due to long-term grudges, envy, secret marriages, mistresses, illegitimate royal offspring, and power struggles on many levels.
The Monmouth Rebellion is still talked of in the West Country, more especially surrounding the place where the Duke of Monmouth valiantly led his rebel army to engage with the royal army. What happened has remained engraved on the people of the western counties, there descendants, and across the green swathe of the levels, a low-lying area of Somersetshire. Therefore, I could do no more than let the characters take centre stage:
A page from the Duke of Monmouth's notebook - thus his handwriting!
A would-be King, a would-be Courtesan, Love and Betrayal. A Heartrending 17th century drama of Love, Desire, and Intrigue.
The Hon Henry Gantry’s covert life, in service to the royal household, is anything but secure. Riddled with guilt over hidden desires and acts of betrayal, Henry’s loyalty to the crown is tested in extreme as anti-Papist fervour reaches a peak of discontent across England. With the sudden illness and death of Charles II, speculation countrywide is of foul play, and the newly declared monarch, James II, takes the throne. Rebellion thus seems the only way to achieve the Protestants’ aims to rid the country of its new Catholic King. Thus, Henry is forever affected by tragic events as they unfold, and the Gantry and Thornton families are once again drawn into a web of courtly deceits.
From the midst of defeat and despair... a scrap of paper is a talisman and hope for a new dawn.