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.
The National Trust Website of Elizabeth Murray’s former home, Ham House, at Petersham near Richmond, Surrey.
**********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.