Guest Post — Ethyl Smith
Today I’m happy to welcome author Ethyl Smith as she shares some Scottish history.
At speaking events I find people know little about Scottish history but want to know more. Hopefully this might intrigue you.
17th century Scotland was full of political intrigue. It still is. One review says of my series … ‘this reminds us that the past is neither as distant nor as complete as we might think.’
My writing is based on fact, covering 1679-89 because my main character John Steel was on the run from the law this long but never caught.
Extensive research, visits, etc help understanding the full picture.
An unexpected bonus has been contact from Steel descendants here and abroad.
It begins with the Stuart kings who believe in the Divine Right of Kings which gives them the right to preside over all matters civil and temporal. Scottish Presbyterians believe in a direct line to God with no need for an intermediary. Such opposing views cause trouble …
Armed rebellion fails. The crown reacts, demanding allegiance or be declared a traitor.
Many refuse. Terrible repercussions follow.
Charles 11 dies in 1684. His brother James, a Roman Catholic, is now king. More protests. There is another rebellion which fails.
James offers Scotland religious freedom provided individuals swear allegiance. This is impossible for any Presbyterian.
English nobles are alarmed when James’ wife produces a Catholic heir to the throne.
They offer crown to Protestant prince William of Orange, who is married to James’ eldest daughter. William lands at Torbay with troops. James flees to France then asks his main supporter John Graham to rally Scotland for his cause.
Graham tries but fails.
William of Orange restores Presbyterianism to Scotland.
Is Scotland now a happier place? Not really.
I hope this gives you some idea of the twist and turns and proves that ‘naethin ivver chainges.’
Books available from Amazon (paperback& kindle)
About the Author:
I have always liked stories, always admired a good storyteller, longed to become one. As a child I told stories through pictures. Later as an illustrator I interpreted the words of others before daring to link my own words with my own pictures. Gradually the words took over. Now I only illustrate my bookcovers.
In my ‘Times’ series I have worked to portray the images of turbulent 17th century Scottish lives in words, and give them their voice.
D.A. Glasgow School of Art
A.D.F School of Advanced Studies Manchester College of Art
Graduate University of Srathclyde Novel Writing Course
Stirling University M.Litt Creative Writing
Range of publication, mostly short stories in magazines