Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bookmarks: Royalist Rebel

For this second installment of PDP's Saturday Bookmarks series, I'd like to introduce you to author Anita Seymour, aka Anita Davison. I met Anita due to our mutual admiration for The Brimstone Butterfly, Caro Riikonen. Caro blogged about and posted photos of the great British houses and castles she toured. She was a private person with a unique voice, and I eagerly awaited her every post.

One day Caro's friends posted a final message to her readers. Caro had taken her own life.

Saddened, and wanting to know more, I googled Caro. I found a post by Anita, lamenting Caro's passing. I commented, and we've been corresponding ever since.

Royalist Rebel, Anita's new book, will be released in five days! Here's a glowing blurb from international best-selling historical fiction author Gillian Bagwell, formerly of the Pasadena Shakespeare Company:

"Royalist Rebel brings to vivid life the perilous days of the English Civil Wars, when the families who had been the most loyal to the crown had the most to fear. Elizabeth Dysart is an engaging heroine, and our blood thrills with hers as she looks danger in the eye and meets every challenge with courage. Anita Seymour skillfully recounts one of the most tumultuous periods in Britain’s history, and her novel is a great addition to the heartbreaking story of those times."
--Gillian Bagwell, author of The Darling Strumpet, The King’s Mistress (U.S. title The September Queen) and Venus in Winter. 

Royalist Rebel by Anita Seymour

Intelligent, witty and beautiful, Elizabeth Murray wasn’t born noble; her family’s fortunes came from her Scottish father’s boyhood friendship with King Charles. As the heir to Ham House, their mansion on the Thames near Richmond, Elizabeth was always destined for greater things. 

Royalist Rebel is the story of Elizabeth’s youth during the English Civil War, of a determined and passionate young woman dedicated to Ham House, the Royalist cause and the three men in her life; her father William Murray, son of a minister who rose to become King Charles’ friend and confidant, the rich baronet Lionel Tollemache, her husband of twenty years who adored her and John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, Charles II’s favourite.

With William Murray at King Charles’ exiled court in Oxford, the five Murray women have to cope alone. Crippled by fines for their Royalist sympathies, and besieged by the Surrey Sequestration Committee, Elizabeth must find a wealthy, non-political husband to save herself, her sisters, and their inheritance. 

Royalist Rebel by Claymore Books, an imprint of Pen and Sword, is released on 17th January 2013
For a little background on the novel, see Anita’s Book Blog.



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The Brimstone Butterfly remains a superb resource for authors of history and historical fiction who need a peek inside those famous houses. And though Caro never knew it, she introduced me to a friend. Royalist Rebel is featured on the front page of the Ham House website. It may not surprise you that the Brimstone Butterfly visited Ham House, too.

19 comments:

Anita Davison said...

Thanks you so much for hosting me today Petrea, and for the mention of Brimstone Butterfly. I still get sad when I think of her and feel she would have liked this novel as she wrote a lovely account of Ham House

Petrea Burchard said...

She would have loved all your books, Anita. I miss her, too. I also read the occasional post on her blog, just to hear her voice again. It's wonderful how people can become friends online, and I guess that can bring sadness too.

dive said...

I, too, still visit the Butterfly from time to time, Petrea, though it always leaves me in tears.
Good to know her influence still echoes around this old planet. In celebration of her I've just ordered Anita's new book from the Amazonians and expect to thoroughly enjoy it.
And after that, of course, Camelot awaits …

Bellis said...

This is fascinating! Ham House is near where my son and daughter live, yet I've never been there. I'll be off to explore it at Easter when I'm next in the UK, and I'll read the book before I go. It must take a lot of research to write historical fiction about a well-known person. Well done, Anita.

Desiree said...

Great stuff!

Petrea Burchard said...

Dive, did I know you were a fan of the Butterfly and just forget? Few people commented on her blog, but I know she had lots of readers. And yay for buying Royalist Rebel!

Bellis, you and I both know that knowledge of the history of a place makes the visit so much more interesting. Anita's research, along with her gift for description, will make Ham House come alive.

Cool, Des.

TheChieftess said...

A bitter sweet story Petrea... Very sad about Caro, but how wonderful that she brought you and Anita together! I'll put Royalist Rebel on my list of must reads!!!

altadenahiker said...

Thanks! I visited her blog and what should I find but the story of King Haakon and the Christmas Tree. Lovely.

Adele said...

Such a sad story, but how nice that she brought people together. I'm really looking forward to reading this book!

Petrea Burchard said...

Excellent, I'm glad.

I didn't know that about King Haakon and the Christmas Tree, Karin. I'll go take a look.

Petrea Burchard said...

Yes I did. I saw that post. I think I even commented on it. I just wasn't making the connection. I like that story, too, and it was new to me.

Margaret said...

Good luck, Anita.

Ms M said...

Poignant post, Petrea.

And all the best to Anita on her new book! Looks like a good read.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks for checking in today, everyone. Anita, we'll be excited to hear about your progress so check in when you can!

I repost Bookmarks on my website on Sundays, at http://petreaburchard.com/updates

Susan Campisi said...

How sad that Caro took her own life but extraordinary that it brought you and Anita together. Your book sounds fascinating, Anita. Best of luck with it.

Susan Campisi said...

Oh, and I just read about the story about King Haakon and the Christmas Tree. How wonderful. I didn't know about that.

Anita Davison said...

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments, not only about my novel but the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree and Brimstone Butterfly. I do hope you will all read it, and Bellis - visit Ham House if you can, it's beautiful - not too grand to be overwhelming and large enough to be impressive.

Elizabeth had a private Cherry Garden in the 1670's and they now tell me they are reinstating the 40 trees where they once grew.

Petrea Burchard said...

I look forward to your book so much, Anita! Thanks for being my guest here.

TheChieftess said...

sounds like a good read!!! Looking forward to it!!!