Prussia Cove


Thank you to Rochelle, the hard-working captain of the good ship Friday Fictioneers and thanks also to Jen Pendergast for the lovely photo this week, I’ve kept the connection with boats…

copyright Jen Pendergast

                                             copyright Jen Pendergast

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Prussia Cove

‘Come away from the window Alice.’

‘Mother, I heard their horses.’

‘You know it’s not safe, come away.’

Alice climbed back into her bed. She drifted back to sleep cuddling Charlotte, her new rag doll.  As she slept, her mother lit the torches in the network of tunnels below their house, before running out to help her husband and the other men from the village. Rolls of silk, packets of tobacco, barrels of brandy were swiftly hidden from sight.

‘The King of Prussia’s’ men had relieved another wreck of its cargo, before the customs men came galloping along the beach.

 

The  house above Prussia Cove

Copyright Halsgrove Publishing

Copyright Halsgrove Publishing

For more information on the self-styled King of Prussia and his family 

… and an extract from  ‘A Smuggler’s Song’ by Rudyard Kipling

‘IF you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,

Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,

Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.

Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Madam, do you trust him?


Good to be back. The photo this week is from Claire Fuller, I have just finished reading her brilliant book ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ which certainly stays with you quite a while after you finish reading.Thank you to Rochelle for her continued captaincy of the good ship ‘FF’ and for her latest book ‘Please Say Kaddish For Me’ which I have just started to read.  I feel humble to be in such talented company.

Copyright - Claire Fuller

Copyright – Claire Fuller

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

‘Madam, do you trust him?’

‘I have a mind to.  Anthony has been a loyal page and is also a good friend of John Ballard, both seem set upon my release. The letter sets out a plan so daring, it takes my breath away, but with God’s help it will succeed. Bring me paper, I will reply.’

Imprisoned at Chartley, Mary’s letters were encrypted by her secretary Gilbert Curle and smuggled out in casks of ale, only to be intercepted by Sir Francis Walsingham. Her eager reply to Babington’s letter sealed the fate of both herself and the plotters.

The Babington Plot

Courtesy of National Archives

Courtesy of National Archives

 

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Mary,Queen of  Scots                                         Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

 

Keep Turning Right


It’s funny how some stories just jump into your head and almost write themselves.  That’s what happened when I saw the prompt for this week. Thanks to our Tour Guide Rochelle for never leading us astray and to Melanie Greenwood for supplying the photo this week. So pleased to have posted earlier this week in at Number 10 – wow.

6 February

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Keep Turning Right

‘Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please’

The assembled group fell silent, listening intently as Harris read the remainder of their itinerary.

‘I’ll lead you into the maze, although it is absurd to call it a maze, but you’ll be able to tell everyone that you have been.’

‘Why absurd sir?’

‘Not a proper maze, you just keep taking the first turning to the right. We’ll walk around for ten minutes, then go and get some lunch. After lunch, we’ll take a short walk back to the river, where you will board the boat that will take you back to London.’

 ****************

If you have read Jerome K. Jerome’s ‘Three Men in a Boat’ you will know that the tourists Harris led into the maze at Hampton Court got lost for hours.

Hampton Court Palace

‘Three Men in a Boat’

Click Mr Frog to read more great stories  

Memories of Another Life


I am feeling rather pleased with the fact that I have managed to post something BEFORE Friday.

I also have a question that I have been meaning to ask for some time now. I notice the times that comments and stories are posted and it makes me wonder just where in the world all you  Fabulous Friday Fictioneers are; it would be really nice to know. I’m in Wales, land of song (allegedly) and rugby (definitely) and laver bread… but that’s another story altogether.

Moving on – thanks as always to Rochelle for keeping us all focused and this week, thanks also to Jennifer Pendergast for the lovely photo.

Copyright Jennifer Prendagast

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Memories of Another Life

The Guardian watches us.

I slip through the gate unobserved; a delicious taste of freedom, though confrontation will follow.

Fading memories of childhood brought hope to years of waiting. There was love and laughter in that other life I lived.

Did they ever stop searching for me? Did they ever forget me?

I will never know.

I hear the running footsteps and the loud cries ‘Valide Sultan, nerdesin?

‘I am here.’

Silence falls.

My son confronts me. Conceived by force, taken from me at birth, I fall to my knees prepared for his wrath.

Only death will set me free.

 ____________________________________

I have just finished reading ‘The Aviary Gate’ by Katie Hickman, for the second time.  Due to the mixed reviews the book received, I thought I would do bit more research on life in the harems of the great Sultans. I came across the story of Aimee du Buc de Rivery and wondered if this incredible life were true. The photo this week let my imagination wonder a bit more.

 

 click for more stories

 

 

 

Seeing the light


Hello, it’s great to be here early for once instead of rushing around at the last-minute. I hope you’ve all had a good week. I’m looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and Monday off, when I will try to catch up on some of my writing projects (she says with fingers crossed)

Thanks to Renee Heath for the photo prompt this week and a special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her continuing support, diplomacy and encouragement.

Copyright Renee Heath

Copyright Renee Heath

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Seeing the light

Frederick watches the crowd gathered on the pavement.  They are getting restless. Some shout concerns, about their safety, loss of their livelihoods. Not many seem supportive of his demonstration.

‘You’ll blow us all to kingdom come, you mad German!’

‘It’ll never work!’

‘What about the poor candlemakers?’

His wife tightens her grip on his arm.

At 9pm the gas is turned on. Pall Mall is lit up from end to end; the crowd roars approval, some even come to shake his hand.

‘Listen to them now liebling, no need for your fears.  You should have more faith in your husband.’

Artist unknown. Courtesy of National Gas Museum

Artist unknown. Courtesy of National Gas Museum

and now for the history bit…

In 1807, Frederick Winsor, a German born entrepreneur, demonstrated the use of gas to light streets, in London’s Pall Mall. Fifteen years later almost every large town in Britain, as well as Europe and North America, had a gasworks. The company he founded – The Gas Light & Coke Company, continued to supply most of the gas in London, until the industry was nationalised in 1949.  Read more at The National Gas Museum website.

For more stories click on Mr Frog 

 

The Convict


This week’s photo prompt comes courtesy of Randy Maizie.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write 100 words on whatever the photo suggests to you. All submissions are scutinised by our leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields aka Mrs Phelps and enjoyed by all the other Friday Fictioneers.   Good luck!

 

goats_and_graves_3_randy_mazie

 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

The Convict

After eight gruelling months, the Barossa reached Hobart.

Released from their shackles, the prisoners staggered on deck for the muster.  Richard stood quietly. There was no escaping the unyielding heat of the southern sun.  Briefly he envied those who had died in their chains.

The charge was murder; lacking evidence the gallows were exchanged for penal servitude.  He was innocent; friends and family knew it and it pained him to accept that he would never see them again.

He laboured hard, eventually receiving his ticket. His homeland forbidden him, Richard settled in Van Diemen’s Land and died there aged 56.

 

 

This is based on the research I have been doing on my family tree.  I have an ancestor who was transported to Van Diemen’s Land – present day Tasmania – accused of murdering a special constable who was trying to quieten a mob during a Chartist riot. Richard was found guilty, based on the evidence of someone who remembered ‘a tall lad in a brightly woven cap’. He escaped the gallows only to endure transportation for life. He was 21. Forbidden ever to return home, he made a life in Hobart.

For more information on Convicts in Australia