Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Spooky Coincidence

I have just got hold of a copy of John Ashdown-Hill's book on Eleanor Talbot, Eleanor, the Secret Queen: The Woman Who Put Richard On The Throne. A review will follow in due course either here or at The Yorkist Age probably the latter given that it's on-topic.

I have had a brief thumb through it and one thing has already made me say 'wow!' though it's nothing to do with the main subject matter.

Over the last few years I've written a fair bit of fiction about Elizabeth Talbot, Eleanor's sister. Most of it is doomed to die unseen, as it doesn't really fit into a novel about Richard III. In fact, Elizabeth as a character is a bit like Edmund Mortimer in reverse, envisaged as a major player, she is going to end as a bit part.

Anyway, I tend to focus on characters until I can see them in my mind's eye, and my image of Elizabeth was of her standing in a garden, among lots of borage plants. (I even remember checking when borage flowers so I could get the scene right.)

Guess what her personal flower was, as used on her seal, according to John A-H? Yes, you've got it - borage.


  1. maybe you have some spooky connection to the people you write about. I think I remember reading that you put Constance somewhere and then found out later that she had actually gone there. What was the story again?

  2. Off hand I can't remember the specific info re Constance but there were certainly some strange concidences with that book too. I particularly recall one episode (not directly involving Constance) that I wrote up then changed in the light of what I found in text books. Later I found an original source (a letter) that proved my first version was correct, so I had to change it back.

    I'm sure sceptics could find 100 easy explanations for this sort of thing, but it does make the hairs on the back of my head stand up when things like this happen!

    For my part I'm a strong believer that 'there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy'...I leave it at that.

  3. I haven't attempted to write anything historical but I do know how it feels to write some small paragraph -- or line (something which I haven't given much thought to) and then, in a later chapter, realize just how much that little thing was needed for the rest to make sense. I know that's not the same as what you're saying but I do understand "the hair standing up on the back of your neck".