Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Long Live King Frederick!

Guest post by Joseph T. Major.

I decided to go back a little in time.

A passionate defense of an exiled prince leads to changes that shake the course of European and world history, and lay the stage for a wider and wider yet monarchy.

In our world, the Electress Sophia of Hanover, sister of the gallant Prince Rupert of the Rhine, was made heir to the British throne, only to die just too soon, leaving the succession to her son.  Once, though, she got a little too exercised about the poor exiled Pretender . . . and if she had been just a little more exercised, William of Orange might have changed his mind.

Such a change could put a strange and striking monarch in reach of the British throne.  But the heirs of the Stuarts were not yet gone, and they could strike back.  The result of this bold decision would mean wars across the world, involving people from lands spreading from Poland to Virginia, from Scotland to Naples.  It would mean battles in the Cockpit of Europe, in the wilds of Saxony, and indeed on the green fields of England itself.

Not all is war.  Literary figures such as Swift, Johnson, and Voltaire have strange and different meetings.  The universal genius Benjamin Franklin, Printer, has an entirely new field of endeavor.

The opposed royal houses, and the other princes of Europe, face off in new and strange alliances in this novel.

It is interesting to write about Frederick the Great, particularly when you realize how close he was to the British throne.  His grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, was the heir designated by William III after his nephew the Duke of Gloucester, Anne’s only surviving son, died so young.  And if the line of the Georges died out, or was excluded . . .

Frederick despised slavery, even though he forcibly drafted people into his army.  He was a patron of the arts but he found German writers and indeed the German language barbarous.  He restricted Jews, and had a Jewish general in his army.  He spoke several languages, including English, and misspelled all of them.  In short, he was a man of many contradictions, and yet very modern.

The hopes of the exiled Jacobites are also interesting to note.  Reality was bad enough for them; in later times all sorts of romantic notions have been attached to the exiled royal house.  And yet, they were interesting and intriguing people.

It’s a pleasure to get to write about them, and I hope enough people buy my new book, The Sun Never Sets, for me to write the second one.

Out from Amazon Kindle Distribution, $2.99.

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Joseph T. Major learned to read at the age of two and a half and is reported to have stopped to sleep occasionally, if you can believe rumors. Check out his new book The Sun Never Sets,

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