So, work on Snake Oil continues, webinars and readings about book marketing and future promotions carry on, and daily life with its struggles remains. But that’s part of every writer’s life. As the blessed Queen of England says, “Keep calm, and carry on.”
I’ve had a good time watching tidbits of the Queen’s jubilee and little Prince Louis’ antics this week. People worry sweet Louis will become a rebel in the Windsor household and may abdicate his future role as King like his uncle Harry. Let the kid be a kid and let him create a few wrinkles in the linen. Who cares?
The royals piqued my interest in the real lives of authors. Therefore, I’ve taken a break from our history’s mysteries and examine the secret lives of writers from the United Kingdom.
Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, was a royal conspiracy theorist. Stoker believed, without a doubt, that Queen Elizabeth I remained a virgin because she was a man and not a woman. History tells that King Henry sent young Elizabeth to Bisley to escape the plague. A few days before a visit from the King, the princess died. Yet, instead of telling King Henry, Elizabeth’s governess substituted the princess with a young boy who had an uncanny likeness to the royals.
Meanwhile, the governess buried the princess in a small chapel, hidden from the world. The scheme works, and the boy fools the King until his death. But Stoker solidifies his conspiracy after hearing Reverend Thomas Keble’s tale of unearthing a coffin with a young girl inside. The body found in Elizabethan dress looked about the same age as the princess who had died 300 years earlier. That alleged event started the lore that captivated Stoker.
So, have you heard about Charles Dickens’ strange life? Dickens, who wrote A Christmas Carol in six weeks (to my chagrin), also had a fascination with death and cannibalism. Dickens, who would spend days at the morgue, once admitted, “Invisible forces drag me to the morgue.” Likewise, historians collected 300 articles written by Dickens about cannibalism. But to make matters worse, Dickens was a horrible husband and father. He blamed his wife for having ten children, and after meeting an 18-year-old mistress, he tried to have his wife institutionalized. Unsuccessful, Dickens turned to the papers and accused his wife of being narrow-minded, fat, a horrible cook, depressed, immoral, and a lousy mother (which proved to be untrue).
Well, that’s all for this month. We’ll take a peek at the lives of other authors next time.