On Weeding & Writing - an occasional eclectic blog by author C.F. Dunn

Writing: Wheel of Fortune & The War of the Roses

It’s pouring here so there’s no autumn planting going on. Instead, for the next week or so, I’ll be working through the historical notes, acknowledgements, glossary, etc for Wheel of Fortune (set during the Wars of the Roses). That’ll keep me in my editor’s good books and out of trouble.

Writing historical notes is completely different from compiling notes for a purely fictional novel. While The Secret of the Journal series had a substantial element of history, The Tarnished Crown series is firmly rooted in the historical past. As a result there is less room for manoeuvre. Facts have to be checked and double-checked, research extremely thorough, and the glossary extensive. I’ll be including a map and hoping that someone will kindly take my rough sketch and turn it into something readable – an artist I am not. The Plantagenet family tree is, at least, simple, even if a description of the Wars of the Roses is not.

Edward, Edward, Edward… And it doesn’t help that, while there is a smattering of Georges in the period, the plethora of Edwards leaves the mind spinning. Nor is life made simpler when the same individual might be know by several titles. We have Edward, Earl of March (Edward IV)  and his son – Edward, Prince of Wales. Edward, Prince of Wales (another one), Edward (Earl of Warwick), and Edward, Prince of Wales and Earl of Salisbury, Earl of Chester and Duke of Cornwall – also known as Edward of Middleham. And that’s to name but a few. If in doubt yell “Edward!” and see who comes running.

So, in between sowing broad beans and garlic and planting cyclamen for winter colour and salvias for the summer, I’ll be working on notes about Edward (all of them), George and Richard as well as Isobel, Isabelle and Isabel. As you settle down in front of the TV with your book of Jordans and Andys, Katies and Laurens, kindly spare me a thought, if you will.