Friday, January 27, 2012

I Killed Clio.

Clio, my victim
That's Clio, the Muse of History.

I done her in.

It was me, in the secret underground cavern of Excalibur, with the text of The Wrong Sword

TWS is set in the High Middle Ages, about 1190 CE. Some historical figures make an appearance - hence my earlier posts on the Plantagenets (which I promise I'll get back, eventually). Eleanor of Aquitaine shows up with her Court of Love, and her sons Geoffrey and John, and Raymond of Toulouse. But, well, I made some changes.

For instance, Eleanor held her Court of Love in Poitou, not Bordeaux - but Poitou didn't have these cool ruins I wanted to use. And by the time this story really gets rolling, in the real world, Geoffrey has already been worm food for four years. And even if he had lived, he wouldn't have been single. He would have been married with three kids.

On the other hand, I described the Plantagenets' personalities as honestly as I could. We know that Eleanor was a formidable woman, famous for her beauty - and that's what she is in TWS. And contemporary sources generally agree that Geoffrey was a cunning bastard. We know that he was smart and well-educated: All of Henry and Eleanor's sons were. And since, in the real history, Geoffrey died in a joust and fought in civil wars against his father and his brothers, he was probably also pretty aggressive. I took the most liberty with John, Geoffrey's brother. Poor John always gets the short end of the stick from storytellers, from Robin Hood through Shakespeare up to today. I'm pretty sure he wasn't the Caligula-esque whack job I described. But we do know he wasn't a good general, he pissed off his barons, and he *might* have killed his nephew to secure the throne for himself. Besides, writing a whack job is fun. Try it some time.

So, to anyone who objects vehemently to these massive revisions to established History, I will humbly agree. But I'll also remind them of one more giant change I made: In the real Middle Ages, there was no such thing as a magic sword.

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