If anyone is a glutton for punishment/genuinely interested in what novels about this period are like, let me know and I'll send you the rough, but think of it as one of those basted paper dresses--a semblance of the final product, rather than a kissing cousin.
So what did I find: by the time you do the number count, and look at the nuances, these novels are far less "pro King" than initial impressions give; that far from opting for an elitist "x rides with famous man" approach, they are mostly the lives of ordinaryish people; that ideology matters a lot to anyone on the left of the story and that this means many things; and that nineteenth century writers struggled with issues of class and gender and historical veracity in these issues. Perhaps most important that the one thing many of the authors agree on was that what was at stake was what loyalty and patriotism actually meant. President Obama could do with reading a few of these books before condemning Manning and Snowden; his country's political system is, after all, mostly descended from the men who first questioned whether loyalty to country was the same as loyalty to king.
This entry was originally posted at http://treaseproject.dreamwidth.org/5075.h
I find that fourteen lean towards the Royalist side, some horizontally; five are in the increasingly familiar area of ‘conflict of loyalties’, and the other four we may be said to do justice to the Parliamentary side. (176)
Because Leeson does not give his breakdown I cannot accuse him of an outright distortion but I suspect him of including earlier texts such as Children of the New Forest, which was adapted for television in 1955, 1964, and 1977 and later in a rather distorted version in 1998, but by my figures the post war result is as follows:
(I have not included the 40s but honours are even to Trease and Lane).
1970 (inc Leeson)
One of the “neutral” titles is Ronald Welch’s For the King (1969) which, if not read carefully, for all its ambivalences and disdain of the Royalists, might be classified otherwise, but it is clear that by the 1970s the trend has swung solidly towards Parliament or to neutral, and if we discount Sally Gardiner’s I, Coriander (date?) which is a fantasy and not particularly interested in historical veracity, it has stayed that way.
This entry was originally posted at http://treaseproject.dreamwidth.org/4823.h
And as I suspicioned: Geoffrey Trease happened to start writing in a period (the 1930s) which seems to have been very pro Royalist (an allegory with Spain perhaps?).
In the 1940s the two pro-Royalist books are by Jane Lane, the two pro-Parliament books are by Geoffrey Trease.
I've finally started writing and if I get the chapter sketched by Monday I'll be asking for Beta readers.
56 for the King
35 or Parliament
and a scattering of others. A more nuanced analysis to follow.
This entry was originally posted at http://treaseproject.dreamwidth.org/4442.h
For the King, and yet produced by the Cromwell Press, It's a beautifully packaged book but I wonder if it's self published? I found myself imaging illustrations that aren't there.
When Nicholas is a teen ager and his sister Katherine barely seven, their father surrenders his house to Parliament. When the Royalists arrive, they shoot him as a traitor. Nicholas leaves to fight for the King, leaving behind a traumatised sister.
Five years later Nicholas, his friend Giles and Giles younger brother Matthew arrive, having escaped from Worcester. Nicholas is contemptous of his sister's timidity but uses her and his cousin Hester as cover for the three of them to escape. Unfortunately Hester's cousin Mistess Barfutt conspure against them, imprisoning Kathrine. Katherine escapes to the Mill where the Miller (a Royalist officer) hides her, but because Nicholas distrusts and despises Katherine her attempts to help them all come to naught/
All is complicated because Giles resembles the description of the king (tall and dark).
Eventually Parliament troops arrive, everyone is arrested, but Katherine. Giles, Nicholas and Matthew escape. Nicholas finds his sister is more couragous than he realised and he and Katherine stay behind to keep the mill working so that if the Miller (who once executed their father) survives, he will have somewhere to come back to).
This entry was originally posted at http://treaseproject.dreamwidth.org/4236.h
Christopher Ferringham is a Royalist soldier by virtue that his father was a mercenary captain in the thirty years war (a second son) and joined up with the King. Christopher simply followed him. It's now the 1650s and Christopher has been hauled out of a prison by his Puritan Uncle and despatched to New England to make good and eventually to return as Heir. Instead Christopher is a scape grace, hangs out with the local trouble makers, insults his other uncle, spends his time gambling and drinking, and gets fined a lot. In one scene even funnier now than then, he obeys the instructions to get his curls cut off by having a longstrip of hair left among the super short: ie a Mohican.
Christopher has two redeeming factors: first he is generous, kind and just and rescues others from trouble often at expense to himself. Second he is in love with his cousin. She, however, won't marry him, most of all because he swears he will be good *for her*. She does not want to be his crutch and uses that phrase.
Eventually, in what is essentially a story about growing into grace, the Uncle at home disowns him as his heir (having acquired a grandson) and Christopher runs away. He accidentally takes his cousin with him, and they end up in the rapids. He rescues her but it's over night. She still won't marry him, taking a place instead as a servant girl in Boston, telling him to return only when he can take her to her home.
He ends up in various scrapes and eventually in the South where he becomes a smith. He refuses to join a friend from England on his plantation, coming to dislike the behaviour of the Cavaliers who are settling there [a link I made in an earlier post]. Eventually tho he inherits that friend's plantation, frees the slaves, rescues his cousins from the North who have been captured by Pirates, exposes his rival in love--who also usefully dies--and is able to return, redeemed, sober and conscientious, and marry his sweetheart.
This entry was originally posted at http://treaseproject.dreamwidth.org/3037.h