Monday, 27 May 2013

Elizabethan Heroes

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.

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