In the Shadow of Revolution

The great events of our time colour who we are and shape us in ways to do not recognize. The American Revolution was in full swing when Susan Kirke and John Dean courted and were married. Even though they lived in England, the fact of that revolution affected their relationship.

Perhaps it was the spirit of equality that made them break with their class and marry each other. If the revolution hadn’t occured, perhaps John Dean would have emigrated to America sooner and would never have met Susan in the first place.

A recent book on that focuses on the effects of the American Revolution on Britain, Iron Tears by Stanley Weintraub, provided me with a lot of information for my novel The Serpentine Path.

Here I found the passage from Charles Dickens’ novel Martin Chuzzlewit where the soldier in the pub is trying to entice soldiers with a shilling inducement. It was so much fun to introduce my characters into that scene. And here I got the inspiration to have John Dean impressed by the British navy. It was dangerous even to walk the streets in a port town. Your own government might kidnap you.

It was certainly precarious times in which John and Susan lived, but full of wonderful fodder for the novelist.

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