Thursday, 15 December 2011

Conspiracy of Angels

In the new story Martha goes on a long journey to the Lake District, where she meets an ex-slave with a very disconcerting history........
This is one of the contemporary illustrations showing what happened during the torture of Louisa Calderon
And this is General Sir Thomas Picton, celebrated military hero, sadist, bully and all-round deeply unpleasant fellow.....  a reputation secure, or in tatters?

You heard it here first -- the book is written, and now needs to be edited and reviewed before the text is finalised and made ready for publication.  Purely by chance, one of the main storylines revolves around a famous 1806 case in which General Sir Thomas Picton, one of the nation's military heroes, was found guilty of the torture of a free mulatto girl during his time as Governor of Trinidad.  The prosecuting counsel was William Garrow, and a recent episode of the BBC series "Garrow's Law" deals with this case (with a good deal of artistic license) -- reopening the debate about whether Picton was a hero or a sadistic monster.

See “Garrow’s Law”, Series 3, Episode 3: “Dark Forest of the Soul” on iPlayer:

And here are some other links to an interesting debate in the media: 

Volume 8 of the Angel Mountain Saga
Publication March 2012

Martha Morgan, a young widow who is Mistress of the small estate of Plas Ingli, is seeking to put her life together again after a traumatic episode, the nature of which she will never divulge.  Following her return from voluntary exile on the Isle of Skomar, a black man is shipwrecked on the shore of the island. He dies from his injuries, but two objects find their way into Martha’s hands -- a  cotton pouch containing a lock of hair, and a ritual dagger which must be handed in person to one of the country’s most famous military leaders. Shortly afterwards, during a visit to the Lake District, she meets a freed black slave, and she agrees to become involved in a secretive anti-slavery campaign. Its leaders are driven by compassion, but then their work is undermined by a shadowy organization called the Sons of Obeah and its fearsome leader John Wesley Jumbie.  Martha is drawn deeply into a web of intrigue which even involves the Prime Minister, and she tries desperately to stop a campaign of hostage taking and extortion.  In revenge, Jumbie swears to kill Martha, and at last the two of them come face to face.........

This is a tightly constructed tale with many twists and turns, where things are not always as they seem.  Many of the key characters will be familiar to followers of the Angel Mountain Saga, but marching through the pages of the story are others who are considerably larger than life -- including the famous dandy Beau Brummell, the portly Princess of Ebersdorf, and General Sir Thomas Picton, who has been cursed, and whose days are numbered.

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