Monday, 27 May 2013
Just calling to mind the Elizabethan age we think of the swashbuckling adventures of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. The scheming of Court favourites Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester and the Earl of Essex who having lost the aging Queen's favour plots to overthrown her. There was the brilliance and turbulent world of our playwrigths Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. The triumph of our sea captains over the Spanish Armada. The Protestant and Catholic conflict that brought to a head the drama and tragedy of Mary Queen of Scots being beheaded. It was certainly an age of high drama.
When facing the challenge of creating fictional characters for The Angel Players series of novels my greatest inspiration was Elizabeth I herself. With such a strong woman as inspiration, who was one of our greatest monarchs, the resilience of Queen Elizabeth was very much behind the creation of my heroine Gabriellen Angel. From an early age Elizabeth needed cunning and sharp wits to survive the plots against her life. She triumphed over the powerful Catholic Kings of Europe to keep her throne and controlled the power hungry nobles of England who sought to further the glory of their own families by deposing her.
With such a queen who daily proved that a woman could overcome the mastery of men, Gabriellen Angel took on the world of the male dominated Elizabethan theatre where women were not even permitted to act to manage her father's troupe of players and her plays were performed at court. ROGUES AND PLAYERS and KNAVES AND PLAYERS is her story and woven through it are many of the historical events of that time. Gabriellen also features in TRAITORS AND PLAYERS which starts with the conflict between Charles I and Parliament and she pays the ultimate price for her bravery and loyalty. Gabriellen leaves a legacy of courage and love of the theatre to her granddaughters who brave the dangers of the continued civil war, exile, and return to England to triumph in the restoration theatre and overcome the horrors of plague and fire in London.
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Prince Rupert of the Rhine has to be my all time favourite and most inspiring historical figure. In his early twenties he was the commander of his uncle's Charles I's army. I first read about him when I was 16 in Margaret Irwin's novel The Stranger Prince and I was hooked. He was the epitome of how I envisaged all that an historical hero should be - handsome, dashing, courageous and enimatic.
Rupert was a younger son of the Frederick V, Elector Palantine and his mother was Elizabeth the daughter of James 1 of England. His sister the Electress Sophia was the mother of George 1.
Prince Rupert had a varied career. He became a soldier at a young age, fighting against Spain in the Nederlands and against the Holy Roman Emperor in Germany. Before he came to England to fight for his uncle he had spent 2 years as a prisoner of war in Linz. When Charles I was defeated Rupert left England and during the years of the Commonwealth he served Louise XIV of France and later was a Royalist privateer in the Caribbean. After the Restoration Rupert returned to England serving as a naval commander.
Prince Rupert appears as a central character in Books 3 and 4 of The Angel Players series. TRAITORS AND PLAYERS includes many of his battles during the English Civil War and his involvement with the Angel family at this time. We meet Prince Rupert again in PRINCES AND PLAYERS after the restoration of his cousin Charles II and how the Angel players are involved with the intrigue at court and the restoration theatre in London.
Many of Rupert's dashing qualities have coloured the personalities of my fictional characters and he very much influenced the bold adventurer which was so much a part of both Adam and Japhet Loveday, and Jack Stoneham in Rogues and Players.
Kate Tremayne is now also on facebook.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
TRAITORS AND PLAYERS book 3 of THE ANGEL PLAYERS SERIES
Book 3 moves the family forward a generation and covers one of our most dramatic periods of history the English Civil War.
family notorious for the wild blood of their kinsmen now faces the greatest conflict of their age when England is torn apart by a war between King and Parliament. The grandchildren of Gabriellen Angel are determined to triumph over their enemies and avenge the deaths of their loved ones.
Angel Rowan disguises herself as a man and is caught up in the intrigue and fighting involving King Charles, the commander of his army Prince Rupert of the Rhine, and those who would oppose their sovereign. A mistress of disguise she plays a unique role in the service of Prince. When she later escapes England and goes to Paris, she takes up the legacy of her kinsmen Gabriellen and Esmond Angel to become a playwright and actress and is befriended by Moliere. But loyalty to her family and country draw her back to England where new dangers threaten the lives of herself and everyone she holds dear.
Maressa Rowan chooses a different path to her sister - she craves respectability and learns after her marriage to Sir Henry Mortimer that he is a libertine and supporter of Parliament. In London she is forced to flee for her life when her husband is prepared to sacrifice her honour to pay his debts. Her ally is her disreputable cousin, Thomas Angel, infamous for his clandestine existence as a rogue and leader amongst the criminal underworld of the City - and now for her the life of an adventuress beckons ...
Traitors and Players brings alive the tumultuous period of the English Civil War, the courage, heartache and persecution faced by a diverse and memorable family determined to conquer prejudice and adversity and emerge triumphant over their enemies.
Friday, 3 May 2013
ROGUES AND PLAYERS book 1 of The Angel Players Series - Special Introuctory Price of £2.02 from Amazon
Esmond Angel popular playwright and manager of Lord Barpham’s company of strolling players. A man adored by his strong willed daughter Gabriellen. But for years as a struggling playwright in London, he has lived a hidden life. He gained fame and notoriety amongst the rogues and vagabonds that haunt the innards where his troupe performs before the first Elizabethan playhouses were built.
When Gabriellen Angel as a young woman joins her father in his travels, the actors and the plays they perform captivate her. The survival of the company depends upon her father’s skill in producing new work. Esmond’s eyesight is failing and he relies upon Gabriellen as a scribe and her emerging talent as a writer. Despite her success her involvement must remain secret in the male-dominated world of the playhouse, or she would be reviled and persecuted.
Gabriellen is determined to keep the troupe together but Esmond’s links with the criminal Underworld draw her into danger. She falls in love with the bold and dashing buccaneer Captain Jack Stoneham but his ambitions at court are his reason for refusing to marry her. She also befriends a horse breeder, Mark Rowan, who travels the country with his stallion as cover for his work as Queen Elizabeth’s spy for plots against her life.
Set against the background of court intrigue, the emergence of the early playhouses, and rich in atmospheric detail of the social structure of England as it faces the threat of the Spanish Armada, Rogues and Players is a rich tapestry of conflict and drama that brings the Elizabethan era alive with diverse and memorable characters.
Rogues and Players, is a lively, atmospheric, well written book. This is a fascinating story which swings along at a good pace. The characters are well portrayed, real and believable, and the period truly comes to life.
West Sussex County Times
Rogues and Players – a band of travelling players, the London underworld and court intrigue in the era of Elizabeth 1. Makes today’s social and political scene seem tame.
KNAVES AND PLAYERS book 2 of The Angel Players Series
England is rejoicing in the defeat of the Spanish Armada but for Gabriellen Angel it has left her heartbroken as it has taken the life of her lover, the dashing privateer Captain Jack Stoneham. It is not the only tragedy she has to face. Her father, the renowned playwright Esmond Angel is in debt to an unscrupulous moneylender Victor Prew. To save Esmond from debtor’s prison and his troupe of players from disbandment, Gabriellen marries Prew. Immediately her life is thrown into danger from her sadistic husband, who is a Catholic plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth.
But the feisty Gabriellen outwits Prew and has a powerful ally in her friend Mark Rowan – a spy for Her Majesty. Prew flees England to save his life but has vowed vengeance upon Esmond, Gabreillen and Mark Rowan.
And her bond with Mark Rowan becomes something far more special than mere friendship and she begins to wonder if she has found a unique happiness…
But when Jack Stoneham reappears having been tortured as a prisoner of the Spanish, her heart is torn between her new and old love.
Set against the background of the early playhouses, the London Underworld - desire, betrayal, vengeance interweave this passionate and atmospheric portrayal of life in Elizabethan England – climaxing in the disastrous rebellion of the Earl of Essex.
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