Friday, September 17, 2021

Benjamin Franklin Goes to France

 


Join me in welcoming a new guest to the blog today! Steve Gnatz has written about Benjamin Franklin in Paris, and I can't wait to pick this one up. Why did Franklin go to France in 1776? Gnatz shares some insight below.

Welcome, Steve!

~ Samantha

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Benjamin Franklin Goes to France

Guest Post by Steve Gnatz


On October 26th, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, along with his grandsons Temple (age 16) and Benny (age 7), boarded the American naval vessel USS Reprisal to be transported to France. This is where the story begins in my historical fiction novel The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris

Once in France, Ben would assume the position of the unofficial American ambassador to the French court of Louis XVI. 

Obtaining the support of the French against the British would be key to the success of the American Revolution. France and England were enemies at the time – and as it is said “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. France had lost face in the Seven Years War and was looking to recover some stature on the world stage, if nothing else. 

Still Franklin found that the French king could not be openly supportive to the American war effort. The support had to come via a very circuitous route involving a Spanish shell company and also needed to evade the watchful eye of British spies. One of Franklin’s own confidants, Edward Bancroft, was later revealed to be a “double agent” working for both the British and American causes. It is possible that Franklin knew of this duplicity as no information ever passed by Bancroft significantly changed the outcome of the war.

Despite all of the challenges he faced in France, Franklin’s efforts led to increasingly open support by the French – particularly after the first few hard fought American battles resulting in some victories against the British. 

By 1784, it was clear that America had won the conflict with French assistance, and the British capitulated. Ben was present at the signing of the Treating on Paris. An interesting historical note is that the British envoy to the signing failed to sit for his portrait – and it remains unfinished until this day.

Treaty of Paris

Of course, The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris isn’t only about the American revolution – even though these historical events play a major part in the background. 

 The book is really about the conflict between science and mysticism in late 18th century France. While in Paris, Franklin was invited to head a commission charged with investigating the quasimedical practice promulgated by Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer. 

Mesmer mesmerizing

Mesmer claimed that he could channel a mysterious fluid (force) that was capable of healing people. Today, we could probably consider his “discovery” to be hypnotism. But in the day, it was considered heretical to the medical community. They wanted him exposed as a fraud. 

Franklin, the pragmatic scientist, very carefully documented blinded experiments showing that no force existed. His commission is credited with the first well-documented scientific “blinded” experiments. They even used a real blindfold! 

The commission’s work complete and the American revolutionary war won, Franklin returned from France to America in July 1785. 

Franklin Returns to Philadelphia

He received a hero’s welcome when he disembarked in Philadelphia harbor.


The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris

A WORLD OF ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, AND INTRIGUE 

1776: Benjamin Franklin sails to Paris, carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, freshly signed. His charge: gain the support of France for the unfolding American Revolution. Yet Paris is a city of distractions. Ben’s lover, Marianne Davies, will soon arrive, and he yearns to rekindle his affair with the beautiful musician. 

Dr. Franz Mesmer has plans for Marianne too. He has taken Parisian nobility by storm with his discovery of magnétisme animale, a mysterious force claimed to heal the sick. Marianne’s ability to channel Mesmer’s phenomena is key to his success. 

A skeptical King Louis XVI appoints Ben to head a commission investigating the astonishing magnétisme animale. By nature, Ben requires proof. Can he scientifically prove that it does not exist? Mesmer will stop at nothing to protect his profitable claim. 

The Wisdom of The Flock explores the conflict between science and mysticism in a time rife with revolution, love, spies, and passion.





Get your copy of The Wisdom of the Flock today! 

Amazon UK - Amazon US - Amazon CA - Amazon AU -  Barnes and Noble - Waterstones

Also Available on Kindle Unlimited


Connect with Steve


Steve Gnatz is a writer, physician, bicyclist, photographer, traveler, and aspiring ukulele player. The son of a history professor and a nurse, it seems that both medicine and history are in his blood. Writing historical fiction came naturally. An undergraduate degree in biology was complemented by a minor in classics. After completing medical school, he embarked on an academic medical career specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. There was little time for writing during those years, other than research papers and a technical primer on electromyography. Now retired from the practice of medicine, he devotes himself to the craft of fiction. The history of science is of particular interest, but also the dynamics of human relationships. People want to be good scientists, but sometimes human nature gets in the way. That makes for interesting stories. When not writing or traveling, he enjoys restoring Italian racing bicycles at home in Chicago with his wife and daughters. Connect with Steve through his Website - Blog - Facebook - BookBub - Amazon Author Page - Goodreads



Monday, September 13, 2021

El Cid: Discerning Fact from Fiction

It's a pleasure to welcome Stuart Rudge to the blog again today with some insight into discerning fact from fiction when writing historical fiction in his Legend of the Cid series. How much of that story is true? It just might surprise you!

Welcome, Stuart!

Samantha

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Ed Cid: Discerning Fact From Fiction

Guest Post by Stuart Rudge

The previous three novels of the Legend of the Cid series dealt with the early life of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid Campeador, from his humble beginnings as a knight from Castile, through his tenure as alferez to Sancho of Castile and his role in the struggles between the sons of Fernando. Master of Battle advances the story with some of the most significant events in his life; his marriage to Jimena Diaz, his acquisition of the legendary sword Tizona, and how he came to receive the title of El Cid.

Rodrigo and Jimena

By 1073, after the long period of unrest in Leon and Castile caused by Fernando’s death nearly a decade earlier, Rodrigo would have been around thirty years of age. For a man of his importance and age to be unmarried was rather uncommon. We do not know the circumstances of their first meeting or betrothal, but we know Rodrigo and Jimena wed in the city of Palencia on July 1074. It is generally accepted that Jimena was an Asturian, the daughter of the Count of Oviedo, and a distant cousin of Alfonso through their grandparents. Royal blood and a Visigothic lineage would have made her a worthy bride for any lord looking to advance his status. Perhaps the royal connection was a tool Alfonso used to ensure Rodrigo’s loyalty, having served Sancho so vehemently for years. The original marriage contract survives to this day, and the signatories included the king himself as well as many of the leading lords of the kingdom, showing the marriage was a grand affair and celebrated by many in Leon and Castile. After years of civil strife, it was proof Leon and Castile could coexist together once more.

Rodrigo and Jimena in Amazon’s El Cid
Source: Daily Express


Part of the mythical legend of the Cid has him kill Jimena’s father in a duel, as depicted in the Charlton Heston film, but there is no historical evidence to support this. Indeed, there is debate as to who her father was; Diego Fernandez, the count of Oviedo featured in this series, may not have been a real person, but to me is the most likely candidate. Almost nothing is known of her mother, but her two brothers Fernando and Rodrigo both served as counts of Asturias at some point in their lives.

In regards to Master of Battle, there is nothing to suggest Jimena ever had an affair with another man, for her early years are shrouded in mystery, and the complex love story between Antonio and her is purely fictional. Rodrigo and Jimena would go on to have three children; Christina, Maria and Diego, and with a swath of estates from their marriage, they would not have lacked for wealth. The initial years of marriage seemed to be fruitful and uneventful. But there is always something, or someone, willing to upset the status quo.

Tizona

The name of the sword of the Cid first appears in the Cantar del mio Cid, where it is called Tizon; the poem dates to around 1160-1200 AD, just a few generations after the Cid lived, and thought some historians doubt its existence, it seems highly likely to me that he carried a blade of that name. The name seems to come from the Latin titio, which means 'embers, burning wood', or ‘firebrand, burning torch’. Though a real sword with the same name is currently housed in the Museum of Burgos, it is most certainly not the original. An examination of the blade in 2001 suggested it could have originated in the eleventh century, but the cross guard and pommel are of a Gothic style and date to a few centuries later, and so it is unlikely it the true blade which the Cid carried in to battle.

Tizona in the Museum of Burgos
Source: Wikipedia


The origins of the blade remain a mystery. The Cid had a military career spanning nearly four decades, and fought countless battles, so it is almost impossible to say. It could have been taken from a Moorish captive after some raid or significant battle; it may have been a gift from the amir of Zaragoza or Seville. The Cantar del mio Cid claims he won it from the King Yusuf of Valencia. As a historical fiction writer, I have used a little bit of research and creativity to produce an original origin story for the Cid’s acquisition of Tizona.

The Historia Roderici claims that the Cid did battle and defeated a champion of Medinaceli, but does not provide a date as to when this duel allegedly took place. Medinaceli is a town in eastern Spain, and the name derives from the Arabic Medina Salim, which meant ‘the safe city’ as it was perched on top of a hill, surrounded by a stout wall and protected by a castle. In the year 1080, a raiding party of Moors proceeded north from Medinaceli, or the area around it, and attacked the fortress of Gormaz, at that time under Castilian control, and laid waste to it. In retaliation, El Cid led an attack of his own and devastated the Moorish countryside, taking many slaves back to Castile with him. In popular tradition this act intensified an already strained relationship between Alfonso and the Cid. During the Cid’s act of retribution against the Moors, is this where he faced the champion of Medinaceli? It seems entirely plausible, and so in Master of Battle, it was all too tempting to include the duel and have the Cid take the sword of his adversary as his own.

The Battle of Cabra

The first third of the book heavily involves Garcia Ordóñez. During the reign of Sancho he had been lord of Pancorbo in eastern Castile, and seemed to have held a position of prominence; he was the signatory of several of the king’s charters, and his father had once been alferez to Fernando of Leon-Castile. In 1074, we know that he held the same position as alferez to Alfonso, and he was even a witness and signatory of Rodrigo and Jimena’s marriage contract. Then he vanishes. He is not seen in court again until the year 1080, when he

is named as count of Najera in the Rioja. Where had he been for the previous six years? We cannot be certain, but it may be he was stripped of his power and exiled from the kingdom for some undisclosed slight against the king, and it is this little snippet of possibility which I use for the inspiration for the trial of Antonio and Jimena and his subsequent exile.

Whatever Garcia’s political status in 1079, in some versions of the Cidian legend, it is recorded that he led troops belonging to the amir of Granada and attacked the taifa of Seville. Whether or not this venture was authorised by Alfonso is unclear, but it just so happened Rodrigo, one of Garcia’s most prominent political rivals, was in Seville at the time, collecting the parias tribute. Details are sparse but, believing he was defending the king’s interests in al-Andalus, Rodrigo did battle with Garcia, defeated and captured him at Cabra, and held him captive for three days. But the king was enraged with such an act, and whilst Rodrigo was reprimanded by Alfonso and his standing plummeted, Garcia’s stock rose with him becoming a count and gaining a bride of high standing in Urraca, the sister of the late King Sancho of Navarre.

A Map of Al-Andalus, 1079 AD
Source: Stuart Rudge


The term Cid derives from the Arabic honorific title al-Sayyidi, and translates as “The Master”. There is no definitive date for when Rodrigo gained this title, and neither do we know the identity of the man who bestowed it. In Amazon’s El Cid series, he is given it by the Moors after the battle of Graus in 1063. If Rodrigo did perform heroics in the battle, it is entirely plausible to have been named the Cid, but personally I believe he would have been too young to receive it after Graus. I have decided to bestow it upon him after Cabra, where a host of Muslim warriors and the amir of Seville himself would have witnessed Rodrigo’s heroics and prowess. Placing it at this point also gives the likes of Pedro Ansúrez, the king’s closest advisor, and Garcia Ordóñez an extra reason to petition the king for punishment against him; after all, if a Christian warrior is given an honorific title by the Moors, it can only increase the animosity with his jealous comrades.

I must now confess that, as a historical fiction writer, I have bent the truth of history slightly to satisfy my narrative. In this novel, the Battle of Cabra takes place after Rodrigo’s raid in to the taifa of Tulaytula; in reality, it was the other way round, for Cabra took place in 1079, and the raid in 1080. In the real series of events, the fact that Rodrigo would fight for a Muslim amir against his own comrades from Castile was a point vehemently taken up with the king by his enemies, and he most likely received a reprimand for it. Then in the following year, when raiders from Toledo attacked the great fortress of Gormaz, Rodrigo led his own incursion in retaliation – without the authority of the king. After defeating the Moorish force, Rodrigo laid waste to the surrounding area, allegedly taking thousands of slaves and returning to Castile as a rich man. But for all the wealth he plundered, his actions had serious ramifications…

Master of Battle by Stuart Rudge

Peace reigns in the Kingdom of Leon-Castile, and Antonio Perez returns to his native Asturias to discover the fate of his remaining family. Whilst there, he reconnects with Jimena, his childhood companion and the girl he once loved. But when his loyal friend Rodrigo and Jimena fall in love, Antonio is consumed by jealousy. As the wedding of two of his closest companions approaches, Antonio must battle his enemies and his inner demons, lest it lead to the ruin of all he holds dear.

Having secured his borders, Alfonso VI of Leon-Castile pushes south against the Moors. When a raid by the Moors threatens Castile, Rodrigo leads his men on a daring campaign of vengeance. But with the venture a credible threat to the uneasy peace Alfonso has brokered with the taifa kings, Rodrigo’s bravado could have dire consequences to himself and the security of the kingdom. With enemies old and new circling, will Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar find greatness on the battlefields of Hispania, and cement his reputation as one of the most feared warriors in the land, or will his actions lead to his ruin?

Master of Battle is the exhilarating fourth instalment of the Legend of the Cid.

Available now on Amazon UK and Amazon US


Connect with Stuart

Stuart Rudge was born and raised in Middlesbrough, where he still lives. His love of history came from his father and uncle, both avid readers of history, and his love of table top war gaming and strategy video games. He studied Ancient History and Archaeology at Newcastle University, and has spent his fair share of time in muddy trenches, digging up treasure at Bamburgh Castle.

He has worked in the retail sector and volunteered in museums, before working in York Minster, which he considered the perfect office. His love of writing blossomed within the historic walls, and he knew there were stories within which had to be told. Despite a move in to the shipping and logistics sector (a far cry to what he hoped to ever do), his love of writing has only grown stronger.

Rise of a Champion and Blood Feud are the first two instalments of the Legend of the Cid series. He hopes to establish himself as a household name in the mound of Bernard Cornwell, Giles Kristian, Ben Kane and Matthew Harffy, amongst a host of his favourite writers.

Connect with Stuart through his blog, Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Puritan Life in Massachusetts Bay Colony

 


I have been studying colonial and early American life for my upcoming book, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to host Meredith Allard. She has written about life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for her Loving Husband Series and is here to share with us some interesting details about life in Puritan society.

Welcome, Meredith!

~ Samantha

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Puritan Life in Massachusetts Bay Colony

Guest Post by Meredith Allard

The main reason I felt drawn to writing Down Salem Way was because there wasn’t much space to explore James and Elizabeth’s lives in during the Salem Witch Trials in 1691-1692 in Her Dear and Loving Husband. We get glimpses of that time through memories, but the focus in Her Dear and Loving Husband is how the past influenced the present.

James and Lizzie are not Puritans, but they live in a society ruled by Puritans. As a result, the Puritans’ strict laws do affect the Wentworths. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony believed that idle hands became tools for the devil, and they were a hardworking, driven people who worked from dawn until dusk. When they were not working in the fields, tending to animals, or completing other chores necessary for survival they focused on following what they believed to be God’s plan for them. Attending church was mandatory.

Puritans attended church at least two times a week, and all church members had to pay tithes. Select men were chosen to vote and make decisions for the church, and the Puritans’ daily rituals were controlled by the ministers and the town patriarchs.

The Puritans believed in living simply and peacefully, but woe to those who did not agree with them or follow their directions. Those who did not obey the laws would suffer punishments such as being banned from the colony, whippings, cutting off of ears, sticking head and arms through a stockade while being left to the whimsies of those looking for entertainment, and hangings. The punishments were doled out publicly—think of Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter wearing her beautifully embroidered A on the scaffold for the whole village to see. The punishments were meant as public teachings. You do not conform, you do not heed our laws, and you will suffer the consequences. This person hanging from the tree could be you if you do not do what is expected of you.

A Pilgrim's Grace by Henry Mosler, 1897

Some men were farmers, but they might also be ministers, coopers, millers, tanners, furriers, or surveyors. The lives of most colonial women, especially those living in rural centers like Salem Village, were centered around farming chores. Due to the poor quality of land in the Salem area the best most could do was subsistence farming. Farm families tended to live in small, one room, musky homes with little privacy where often the entire family slept in the same room. The men worked the fields and the women chopped firewood, tended the fires, gathered eggs, milked cows, and prepared meals over the open fires of the hearths. Even with the hearth fire lit, it was still cold inside during the winter months.

The nearness of the Atlantic ocean meant that fish was an important part of their diet. They also ate meat salted for preservation, pottages, cornmeal, and porridge. Women had to preserve food for the bleak winter months, and they had to make clothing for themselves as well as everyone in their family. As if that weren’t enough, women had to make soap and candles. They tended the gardens, dried the herbs, and fermented cider for the beer. They also raised the children and their husbands, because let’s face it—husbands need raising too—and they cared for immediate as well as extended family members whenever illness struck, which was frequently in the colonial era. Childbirth was extremely dangerous. Something like one in 30 pregnancies resulted in the death of the mother, which explains why so many men were on their second, third, or fourth wives (From The Daily Life of the Colonial Woman).

The Puritan-ruled Massachusetts Bay Colony was a patriarchal society. Puritans (male Puritans) used the Bible to convince followers that women were there to act as help meets for their husbands and birth the next generation of God-fearing Puritans. Women were thought of as property passed from father to husband, and they weren’t allowed to vote or make decisions in the church. One Puritan minister said, “the Husband is to be acknowledged to hold a Superiority, which the Wife is practically to allow.” Seriously, he said that. Women’s thoughts, opinions, and knowledge were not valued in general, although that wasn’t true across the board.

There were fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons who recognized thoughtfulness and intelligence in their womenfolk. One such fortunate woman was Anne Bradstreet. Bradstreet’s father made certain she was well educated and he encouraged her literary aspirations. Her book of poems, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America, was published in London in 1650. She continued writing poetry as she raised eight children and her husband, who was himself successful in colonial Massachusetts. She wrote one poem in particular, “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” that I may have mentioned once or twice before.

Weddings were interesting affairs in Puritan New England. For a marriage contract to be considered legal there were several steps: (1) a promise to marry; (2) publishing of the banns; (3) the marriage ceremony; (4) a celebration in public of the event; and (5) consummation of the marriage. I made much of James and Elizabeth’s wedding in Her Dear and Loving Husband. I particularly enjoyed writing those scenes where James’ father, John, makes much of Elizabeth’s bride cake, and Elizabeth herself, calling her Daughter even before the marriage ceremony was performed. Elizabeth wore no special gown but rather her own dress. James and Elizabeth had their families there to celebrate and encourage the new couple to “please, gratifie and oblige one another, as far as lawfully they can” (From KathleenKent.com).

The Puritans were more like us than they were different, which is generally what we discover when we study history. They had aspects of their lives that scared them, they felt driven to conform to the expectations of their society, and they did their chores, gossiped about others, and lived their lives the best they could.


References:

Clark, Alice. The Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century. A.M. Kelley: London, 1968.

Earle, Alice Morse. Home Life in Colonial Days. Courier Corporation, 2006.

Dexter, Elizabeth A. Colonial Women of Affairs. 2nd rev. ed. Augustus M. Kelley: Clifton, NJ, 1972.

Gale Group. The Daily Life of the Colonial Woman. 1999.

Kent, Kathleen. A Day in the Life of a Puritan Woman. Retrieved from http://www.kathleenkent.com/2011/09/12/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-puritan-woman-3/

Mixon, Franklin G. “Puritanism and the Founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony.” Public Choice Economics and the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria. Palgrave Pivot, New York, 2015. 21-31.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. Vintage Books: New York, 1980.

Down Salem Way

How would you deal with the madness of the Salem witch hunts?

In 1690, James Wentworth arrives in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his father, John, hoping to continue the success of John’s mercantile business. While in Salem, James falls in love with Elizabeth Jones, a farmer’s daughter. Though they are virtually strangers when they marry, the love between James and Elizabeth grows quickly into a passion that will transcend time.

But something evil lurks down Salem way. Soon many in Salem, town and village, are accused of practicing witchcraft and sending their shapes to harm others. Despite the madness surrounding them, James and Elizabeth are determined to continue the peaceful, loving life they have created together. Will their love for one another carry them through the most difficult challenge of all?


Available worldwide now on Amazon.

Also available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks.


Connect with Meredith


Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical Loving Husband Trilogy. Her sweet Victorian romance, When It Rained at Hembry Castle, was named a best historical novel by IndieReader. Her nonfiction book, Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction, was named a #1 New Release in Authorship and Creativity Self-Help by Amazon. When she isn’t writing she’s teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students ages five to 75. She loves books, cats, and coffee, though not always in that order. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit Meredith online at www.meredithallard.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Book Bub

Other books in The Loving Husband series by Meredith Allard:

Her Dear and Loving Husband  

Her Loving Husband’s Curse  

Her Loving Husband’s Return  



Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Peggy Shippen: Vapid Flirt or Manipulative Spy?

Peggy Shippen sketched by John Andre
New York Historical Society

When George Washington and his men realized that General Benedict Arnold had fled in the wake of the revelation of his treasonous plot, no man present thought to question the innocence of Arnold's wife, Philadelphia socialite, Peggy Shippen. Alexander Hamilton wrote, 'All the sweetness of beauty, all the loveliness of innocence, all the tenderness of a wife and all the fondness of a mother showed themselves in her appearance and conduct. We have every reason to believe she was intirely unacquainted with the plan.' Marquis de Lafayette agreed. 'The unhappy Mrs Arnold did not know a word of this conspiracy....The horror with which her husband's conduct has inspired her, and a thousand other feelings, make her the most unhappy of women.' Even Washington claimed to have 'every reason to believe she is innocent.'

Why were they all so thoroughly convinced?

Pop culture television shows and historical novels tend to portray Peggy Shippen as a vapid teenager when she met British Major John Andre during the occupation of Philadelphia. Biographers Jacob and Case don't believe this is accurate, noting comments of contemporaries who describe Peggy as 'gentle and timorous' with 'great purity of mind and principles ' and being 'particularly devoted to her father, making his comfort her leading thought, often preferring to remain with him when evening parties and amusements would attract her sisters from home.' 

British Major John Andre

Peggy is often also romantically connected to Andre in retellings of her story. While there is no more or less to connect him to Peggy than several other ladies, Peggy is believed to have kept a lock of Andre's hair until she died on 24 August 1804, long after his 2 October 1780 execution. However, there is no documentation of her ever mentioning his name during that time.

Had Shippen and Andre formulated a plot for her to ensnare the crippled, older general? Andre's business was the gathering of information, so he surely knew something of Arnold's dissatisfaction with the American congress. Did he leave instructions with Peggy when the British left Philadelphia, or was her marriage to Benedict Arnold her own idea? Did she love him or was he simply a piece of her greater plan?

Arnold was paid well by the British for turning traitor, even though he brought them no great prize and cost them an intelligent, young officer when Andre was captured. What George Washington did not know is that Peggy also received a pension for her part in the plot. As Jacob and Case noted, ‘In an era when female intelligence and talents were often dismissed, women held one advantage: They were rarely suspected of elaborate crimes.’ Only much later, when some of Sir Henry Clinton's papers were donated to the University of Michigan, would the fact that Peggy had corresponded with the British herself be revealed. It is no longer possible to believe that Peggy was not involved in the plot, but it remains unknown whether treason was her reason for marrying Arnold in the first place.

After their plot fell apart, the Arnolds joined the British in New York, where the general was less than welcome. He provided no great service, and his advice to move troops out of Yorktown was ignored, leading to the British surrender. After the war, the Arnolds lived in England and Canada, struggling financially and never grasping the success they must have dreamed of when they turned against their country. 

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Read more of Peggy Shippen Arnold's story in Women of the American Revolution, coming in July 2022 from Pen & Sword.

Quotes from Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, the Woman Behind Benedict Arnold's Plot to Betray America by Mark Jacob and Stephen H Case.



Monday, August 9, 2021

History in Fiction: Getting the Balance Right

 I recently had the honor of participating in a Historical Writers Forum panel on getting the balance right when writing historical fiction. It was exciting to join great names like Elizabeth Chadwick, Carol McGrath, and Sharon Bennett Connolly! Since the discussion was recorded, you can watch it now too!