[Guest Post] Let’s Read A Band of Roses – Ch. 1-3

I’ve never been a huge alt-history buff. The examples of the genre I’ve tried have been interesting, but the speculative hook has never been enough to keep me reading beyond the halfway point. I guess I just don’t care that much what kind of souvenirs Americans would make in an alternative version of the 20th century where the country was annexed by Japan and Germany after the Second World War.

In the past few weeks, however, I stumbled across a series about an alternative version of history in which Ireland was never conquered by Britain. There are exactly two ways a book like this could go: it will either be rah-rah nationalism written by the kind of people who post on the Ireland sub-forum on Stormfront or else it will be rah-rah nationalism written by an American author who really wishes they were born here.

A Band of Roses, the first book in the creatively-titled Band of Roses series, is written by an American who, judging by her website, is super into Ireland. So I guess we’re leaning towards Option B. Let’s see how this goes!

For some reason I find the juxtaposition of a castle and a helicopter really funny.

For some reason I find the juxtaposition of a castle and a helicopter really funny.

Before we begin, I should make it clear that I will not be reading this entire book. [EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: Scratch that, we’re doing more.] Instead I’m going to do a single post where I keep going until I get bored. Should you be filled with a burning desire to see how the story ends, feel free to go and grab the book on Amazon for the low price of $6.11.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the premise!

In 1002 A.D., the chieftan of an obscure Irish clan rose to claim the High Kingship of Ireland. Brian Boru united Ireland’s warring tribes under one leader for the first and only time in Irish history. A scholar as well as a warrior, King Brian rebuilt churches, encouraged education, repaired roads and bridges, and roused the country to rise against the Norse invaders who had ravaged Ireland for centuries.

On Good Friday in 1014 A.D., Brian’s army challenged a host of Vikings and their allies on the plains of Clontarf. Though his troops were victorious, Brian’s son and grandson perished in the battle. Brian himself dies in his tent, murdered by fleeing Vikings who stumbled upon his camp.

Many historians have speculated that Ireland would a different place today if Brian Boru and his heirs had survived the Battle of Clontarf. A Band of Roses presents on possible scenario.

Admittedly I know nothing about Brian Boru except for what’s on his Wikipedia page and the fact that there’s a famous pub in Dublin named after him, but I’m skeptical about whether anything that happened in the year 1014 could really have prevented Ireland from eventually being subsumed into the UK given that all of that occurred much later. Let’s just go with it, though.

(Incidentally, searching for information about Irish history on Wikipedia will, in at least 50% of cases, yield a bunch of outdated and/or factually incorrect horseshit written by people who would probably be in the IRA if they were slightly more motivated about achieving their life goals. I discovered this the hard way after deciding to write a lengthy essay on the Famine in college.)

The book opens with a bunch of fishermen on board a boat called the Fancy Annie. (I’m trying my hardest not to make any jokes about this.) They’re on their way back to Killybegs, which is a real town near Donegal. Many Irish place names sound hilarious even to people from Ireland, by the way, so you are entirely welcome to laugh at ‘Killybegs’. There’s a place in Sligo called, I shit you not, ‘Tubbercurry‘. It is my greatest ambition to one day go there.

Anyway, they’re within sight of the coast when they spot an English military boat. They approach, thinking that it might be in trouble, only to be told that they’re about to be boarded. Understandably perturbed by this, the captain of the Fancy Annie gets some guns…which I guess he has, for some reason?

They get rammed by the military ship, and then this happens:

He’d just snapped magazines into two of the pistols when a thunderous impact knocked him down. The guns went flying.

“Feck and Bedammit!”

FECK AND BEDAMMIT

Holy shit, I just came up with a new meme. Check it out:

download

Take a picture of a male model and superimpose ‘Feck and Bedammit’ over it in standard meme-font. We can make this a thing, you guys. We can do it.

It turns out the Fancy Annie has been attacked by none other than Geoffrey Wessex, the Regent of England. I’m sure if I watched Game of Thrones I’d have something to say about the fact that his name is Geoffrey, but I don’t, so you’ll have to fill in the joke yourself.

Other fun facts about His Royal Whatever:

  1. He has heterochromatic eyes (one blue, one brown).
  2. He’s fat.
  3. He is apparently not albino, meaning that he misses out on the Trifecta of Cliched Evil.
  4. He orders his marines to kill the entire crew of the fishing boat just because.

The second chapter opens at ‘Southwick Castle’ in England, where Geoffrey is plotting with his cousin, Andrew. The narration almost immediately reiterates the fact that Geoffrey is a) fat and b) has differently-coloured eyes. I really hope this doesn’t keep being A Thing.

So he’s got this slightly convoluted plan involving an obscure maritime law that lets him lay claim to ‘Fargan’, an uninhabited island in the off the coast of Ireland. (I have no idea if this is a real place or not; Google tells me that ‘Fargan’ is the name of a drug.) There’s apparently oil under the island, but he doesn’t actually want the oil. Instead he’s going to use it to do some sort of political wrangling that will let him…overthrow the King of England, I think? I’ve read the conversation several times now and I’m still not entirely sure how this is supposed to work.

Whatever, the important part is that he made it look as if the Fancy Annie just sank of natural causes. Better hope nobody recovers those bullet-riddled bodies! Also his gunboat would have had to sail all the way around the southern or northern coasts of Ireland to get to Fargan from England, which I’m pretty sure somebody would notice unless it can turn invisible.

Oh, also Geoffrey is also planning on arranging a marriage between the Crown Princess of Ireland, which is a thing that exists in this world, and somebody in the English Royal Family.

Would you believe that the aforementioned Crown Princess is our main character? Because she totally is!

Presented without comment: the first result for a Google image search of 'Irish Princess'.

Presented without comment: the first result for a Google image search of ‘Irish Princess’.

Taillte, or ‘Talty’, is next in line for the throne. Google tells me that ‘Taillte’ is the name of some sort of goddess from Irish mythology.

(Actually wait, I just thought of something. Shouldn’t the fishermen in the first chapter have been speaking Irish? How did Geoffrey understand them? Maybe everyone is bilingual or something.)

In a shocking twist, it turns out that Talty hates being the Crown Princess. Thankfully, it’s not because she feels stifled by all the wealth and privilege surrounding her; instead she just finds it depressing to have to be constantly prepared for her father’s death. That’s pretty understandable.

So there’s something in Brussels called the ‘World Court’, which makes me think the EU doesn’t exist in this world. (Edit: Apparently the World Court is another name for the International Court of Justice, so there is a UN at least.) I’m really not sure why that would be the case, but let’s just go with it. Talty’s ‘Uncle Jack’ is due to return from said Court shortly. Presumably he’s going to bring the plot with him.

There’s some stuff about Talty (that name is really stupid) being a member of the modern-day incarnation of the Fianna, which are a group of elite soldiers. The narration makes it sound as if Talty thinks there actually were people called the Fianna led by a real guy called Fionn mac Cumhaill – I’m not sure if we’re supposed to interpret this as a nationalist myth that she buys into or if she’s thinking in figurative terms.

She’s also planning on going to California for some reason, which prompts this exchange between her and her father:

“Paedar thinks so. So tell your old father, is there any special fella you’ll be leaving behind when you go off to California?”

“Just you, Daddy,” she said in a little-girl voice.

Nope, nothing creepy about that! Immediately after this her father narrows his eyes and grins simultaneously, which I believe is enough to fulfil the World Health Organisation’s criteria for a diagnosis of Bad Writing.

Uncle Jack arrives and is greeted by Talty:

Talty set down her cup and stood. “Howya, Uncle Jack!”

All right, this one is going to take a bit of explaining.

‘Howya’ is a phonetic rendering of the way some people in Ireland pronounce ‘How are you’. I associate it with Dublin because I live near there, but I think people probably say it elsewhere as well. It’s pretty common.

The problem is that it’s not anywhere close to being the Irish equivalent of Standard English, or whatever you call that accent you need to have if you want to be a talking head on the BBC. It would be a bit like having a novel about the real-life British royal family where the Queen ends a sentence with ‘innit’.

Basically, this looks like the author threw in something that ‘sounds Irish’ without thinking of the context.

Brian and Jack try to convince Talty to marry the ageing (and possibly dying) Thomas, who I believe is the King of England, in a purely political marriage. They seven specify, in an extremely roundabout way, that she won’t have to have sex with him.

So, this is taking place in some version of the 20th century, right? Because I’m trying to remember the last time a marriage between royal families had any real political significance in Europe. I know they still happen to a certain extent, but they don’t really matter any more, do they?

There’s some stuff about oil wells (there actually might be oil under Ireland in real life, but it’s not particularly accessible) and Talty considers telling her dad to ‘go to the devil sideways’, whatever that means.

They’re interrupted by the arrival of Daisy, Talty’s friend among the royal servants. I’d just like to point out that I have never met an Irish person named Daisy. She also refers to her mother as ‘mum’. I’ve seen this come up before when Americans try to write Irish characters, so here’s a PSA: almost nobody here says ‘mum’. The American ‘mom’ is more common than ‘mum’.

Anyway, Brian goes on to explain that if Talty marries what’s-his-name she’d have to relinquish her status as Crown Princess of Ireland because it would apparently be a bad thing if she was simultaneously Queen of Ireland and England.

QUIZ TIME: What happened in previous eras when the English monarch was also the Scottish monarch? Easy: you just had one guy who was the king of multiple countries. This was back when the monarchy actually mattered, so it was a big deal. Since A Band of Roses is taking place in modern times, I don’t see why it would be that difficult to have a dual monarchy…

…unless, of course, England and Ireland are genuinely ruled by Thomas and Brian, respectively, with no democratic system beneath them. So far there’s been no mention of Prime Ministers or anything like that, which means that Brian, Jack and Talty are making some fairly serious political decisions entirely on their own. I’m having trouble even imagining the kinds of historical deviations that would have to occur in order for this situation to be viable in modern-day Europe.

(Also, they’ve been dealing exclusively with ‘England’ here, not ‘Britain’ or ‘the UK’. So far I don’t think there’s been any mention at all of what the deal is with Scotland and Wales.)

We cut to Howth, where Talty’s uncle lives. She goes to his house to do some Fiana training, which involves fighting with some kind of staff called a ‘Bata’.

I find it incredible that 'Irish martial arts' deserves its own page.

I find it incredible that ‘Irish martial arts’ deserves its own page.

A Bata is also an item in World of Warcraft. It does 85.9 damage per second!

Talty spars with a guy who is apparently her ‘Shivail’. That doesn’t look remotely like an Irish word to me and googling it brings up only references to this book or Italian YouTube videos, so I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean.

There’s some more banter, someone busts out the phrase ‘randy sailors’, and Talty is understandably upset because she has to marry some guy she’s never met and won’t get to be Queen of Ireland.

Holy shit, we’re only two chapters into this thing.

Philip and Roger Wessex are in Dublin for the big wedding. I honestly can’t remember which of them is which. I think Roger is the evil one? Although they both openly discuss usurping the throne (of England), with force if necessary, so I guess they’re both supposed to be evil.

They’re playing organ music at the wedding, which offends Talty’s ‘Irish Pride’.

Satan in his true form.

Satan in his true form.

I just realised that nobody has mentioned religion once so far. Although actually there’s an ‘archbishop’ officiating the wedding, so I guess Ireland is Catholic. Hey news flash, the English monarch can’t be Catholic. They can now marry a Catholic, so Thomas is in the clear on that one, but it’s going to be a bit awkward when he dies and Talty suddenly finds herself having to be the symbolic leader of the Church of England.

Unless all of that is completely different in this world, of course. So far the cultures we’re dealing with have been so poorly explained that I’m picturing everything taking place in a featureless void.

There’s a party after the wedding. I’m sure you will be shocked to learn that the Irish royal family are all fun-loving free spirits who are into wild traditional dancing, but their English counterparts want to do stuffy waltzes or whatever. Personally I’ve always assumed that when the royal family gets together behind closed doors it’s a non-stop parade of strippers and cocaine. That’s what rich people do, right?

You know this guy has done some serious drugs in his time.

I was going to make some joke about Harry looking like he’s on something here, but apparently he actually does have a drug problem. I guess I don’t read enough British tabloids. ALSO: butterfly hat.

The party drags on, Talty makes plans to escape to a ‘real party’ in the basement, oh god this is going to be like that scene in Titanic, isn’t it? I sweat god, book, you’d better not bring out that goddamn cliche.

Oh, also it seems like Thomas is senile. As in the characters actually talk about him as if he isn’t there while he’s standing right next to them because they don’t think he knows what’s going on.

Wait, then Thomas suddenly stabs Talty? What the fuck?

Okay, so it was a plan by Roger to, I don’t know, assassinate half the Irish royal family? Keep in mind his underhanded ploy involves tricking the King into personally murdering Talty hours after marrying her.

Basically, they wanted to get their hands on the oil wells that were part of Talty’s dowry without having to deal with her on the throne. If it was part of a dowry then they already had control of the oil wells. That means that they staged the most audacious assassination attempt in history solely because they didn’t want Talty around to annoy them.

This is the kind of shit that would start a war if it happened in our world, let alone one where the monarchy still seems to hold real power. I’m pretty sure Brian’s reaction to all of this would be ‘Fuck you, we’re declaring the marriage annulled on grounds of attempted murder‘. And since someone else killed his wife at the same time, actual murder.

This book just went completely off the rails, and I can’t decide if it’s the worst thing ever or the best thing ever.

Roger hears that Talty is still alive and decides to go and finish her off himself. Personally. In her hospital room. That means he’s going to be the second member of the English royal family who attempts to brutally murder a member of the Irish royal family in two days. Keep in mind this guy is supposed to be some sort of Machiavellian schemer. Couldn’t he just hire a hitman for this? Or do anything apart from stride into Talty’s hospital room and personally kill her while she’s unconscious?

Actually, you know what? This is the most entertaining thing I’ve read in weeks. I’m doing another post on it. Next time: royal fisticuffs, a trip to Scotland, and Talty faking her own death!

b8byn

Shit just got real.

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33 thoughts on “[Guest Post] Let’s Read A Band of Roses – Ch. 1-3

  1. Kemberlee Shortland

    I’m a new commenter on this blog, and I’ll preface my post by saying, Pat McDermott is a friend of mine. I’m also an American writer, and publisher, who’s lived and worked in Ireland for more than 17 years.

    This is the thing about fiction. It can be anything the author wants it to be.

    Pat has not set out to write historical fiction, such as Elizabeth Chadwick who adheres to the letter of British history for the period of time in which she writes. Pat’s work is purely fiction, based on a ‘what if’ scenario.

    It’s fine to tear this or any other work apart, trying to figure out why this or that doesn’t match history. It won’t. This is alternative history in a land based around the author’s imagination. Readers don’t have to like it, but it is what it is.

    We authors are always taught — Write what you like to read and write what you know. Pat is a frequent visitor to Ireland and has loads of Irish friends living here, and where she lives. And as an Irish descendant, she has a natural affinity for Ireland and Irish things. It’s only natural she would combine her love of writing with her love of Ireland.

    I’d like to point out that The Band of Roses book was originally published in April 2008, so any references to The Game of Thrones is purely coincidental. As a matter of fact, the name Geoffrey in the US is pronounced as Jeffrey, not Joffrey.

    Having said this, something deep and dark in me wonders how Ronan would perceive my own Irish set stories . . . as an American writing about Ireland and all 😉

    Reply
    1. braak

      I guess this comment seems confusing to me because on the one hand you’re saying that it’s fine to respond to the book however we want to, but on the other you’re suggesting that some responses are incorrect.

      Like, “it’s fine to tear this apart by asking questions about the socio-political underpinnings of this fictional world” ) BUT also “all questions about the socio-political underpinnings of this fictional world are wrong because the world is made up.”

      Reply
    2. ssellis

      The whole author’s-imaginative-prerogative argument is related to everybody’s favorite fallacy, “subjectivity is why other people are wrong,” and it’s got a very simple answer. Made-up Alternate Ireland doesn’t need to be accurate to Real Ireland, but it needs to be convincing in itself—and one way people judge the convincingness of imaginative creations is by comparing them to similar phenomena in the real world. The original post doesn’t say that Made-up Ireland isn’t like that, it says it wouldn’t be like that, because, for instance, modern monarchy doesn’t work that way.

      “We writers” aren’t taught “write what you know” as a group, and that’s just as well because it’s such an oversimplification as to be pretty much inaccurate. It’s more accurate to say, if you write about something, you’d better be sure to get to know it. Surely part of what makes it fun is doing the research.

      Reply
  2. Austin H. Williams

    Few things frustrate me more than hearing about something that treats a fascinating premise, but then I find myself thinking, “No, it should be like this!” within minutes.

    I don’t think I’d enjoy this book at all. Very much with Braak here on just about everything, AND ALSO I’d note that if we’re fantasising about an Ireland that maintained a strong central monarchy and avoided British conquest, then we’re also talking about an Ireland that is overwhelmingly Gaelic-speaking. Especially among fishermen on the West Coast.

    Reply
    1. Chackludwig

      Yeah, that wiggled my Jerries as well. I think it’s because American authors don’t know there are languages other than English (THE WORLD LANGUAGE!) and “funny foreigner speak from Sombrero Land/Mother Russia”

      Reply
      1. Austin H. Williams

        You’re generally right, but here’s why it not only irritates me but boggles me – the American Irish-diaspora-nationalist-homeland-over-romancing-and-completely-ignoring-reality types love random tchotchke shit with Gaelige all over it!

        A guy whose as purportedly obsessed with “the home country” as much as this dude is should be all over that “We speak Irish, not English” thing!

        Reply
  3. Seamus Scanlon (@SeamusScanlon)

    I think the argument made about Boru is that he may have been aiming to create a more centralized high kingship which would mean that instead of a number of disparate minor kings/ lords fighting against/with the normans/English monarchy you would have had a one large force which coudl have done a better job. That doesn’t mean Ireland would have remained a separate political entity from then on but our history could have been similar to Scotland. On the other hand it would have speed up political unity through a marriage between the English and Irish royal families.

    Reply
    1. braak

      Yeah, but I think that actually is part of what brings up the question of how the kingship is maintained. I mean, Clontarf was a rebellion against Boru by kingdoms that he’d already conquered — if High King wasn’t going to end up being an elected position, then it was going to be maintained through a complex series of politically-advantageous marriages, which suggests a family that’s better at politically-advantageous marriages than the one that says, “Let’s marry our daughter and sole heir to some old king who’s about to die anyway.”

      Reply
  4. braak

    BLEEEUGH I have so many opinions about the politics of succession in this self-published alternate-history novel about Irish kings, you guys.

    Reply
  5. braak

    Also, also — not for nothing, but that premise is a little misleading. Brian Boru wasn’t repelling an army of Viking invaders at Clontarf, he was conquering an army of Hiberno-Scandinavian settlers, many of whom had been in Ireland for generations. Brian Boru wasn’t an elected king, or appointed by public approval after saving his nation, he was a conqueror — I’d be real curious to know how a dynasty like that would have survived for a thousand years. Typically, those kinds of kings either make it because they become an elected kingship, or else because they’re really, really good at political marriages.

    Reply
  6. braak

    Oh, also — Church of England also has Archbishops. If there is a wedding between the King and someone, then the Archbishop presiding over the wedding is probably the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Reply
    1. andrea harris

      I can see the authors and fans of books like these already scrunching up their faces in irritation and snapping that they just want to write/read for fun! Why do you want them to do all this boring history research!

      Reply
      1. Alice

        Unless you try to have PoC in a historical European setting, in which case all those fans and authors will suddenly insist that historical accuracy and research are THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. THING.

        Reply
      2. braak

        This is the thing that I can’t understand though, because I think the sort of exigencies of titles and succession, and how a person can have two simultaneous titles that confer different responsibilities and have different requirements attached to them (like how Frederick the Great was King IN Prussia but not King OF Prussia, because the Hoenzollerns were also the Electors of Brandenburg and owed nominal fealty to the Holy Roman Empire), are really fascinating, and I don’t get why you’d write a novel about the politics of succession without being interested in the politics of succession.

        “Hey, I don’t care about all this stuff about crown princes and princess regent and lineages and such!”

        Well, I’M not the one who brought it up, person who wrote this fucking book!

        Reply
      3. Alice

        “But POC in pre-modern Europe are historically accurate…”

        I know, I was being sarcastic. Fans and writers will avoid historical accuracy for the sake of telling a good story, just having fun, but the second someone asks why all the characters are white, those same people scream historical accuracy to excuse their whitewashed fiction. Why are there no PoC in Frozen? Historical accuracy! – they cry. Even though it isn’t historically accurate, and there is a distinct lack of ice magic and talking snowmen in history. I’m just highlighting the double standard. If a writer gets historical details wrong, they’re just writing for fun, accuracy doesn’t matter, stop pointing out the flaws. But if you complain all their characters are white, they’ll try to justify it as being historically accurate.

        Just a guess, but I’m gonna predicate all the characters in this Band of Roses are white, save for perhaps a token PoC, and everyone will be straight and cis. Because … history! That’s why.

        Reply
        1. Chackludwig

          It’s sad, that. You’d think more varied characters would make a story feel more exciting and alive, but apparently if you wanna keep your White Writer Cred, you have to do the equivalent of a well-off family still only ever eating gruel all day, every day.

          Reply
      4. Alice

        “There *are* PoC in Frozen, though. In pretty much every crowd scene, there are people who aren’t white.”

        Yeah, that’s exactly the level of inclusion white people are willing to stretch to. Look! Our film isn’t racist! There’s a black person if you pause the film here and squint into the background! What? You wanted a main character? Sorry, we’ve got five more white princesses lined up, you’re outta luck. Sámi people? Who are they?

        That’s about the same level of inclusion I get when I look for LGBT characters. Only sometimes not even that much. But hey, I guess background crowd scene characters is good enough for cishet white people, right? And they’re in charge, so if it isn’t good enough, tough luck, that’s all we’re getting. We should just be grateful they aren’t outright murdering us. *Looks at Ferguson Missouri* *Checks out hate crime stats against LGBT people*

        Oh.

        Reply
  7. braak

    re: kingship.

    This whole thing is actually really weird. It’s true that in the past there’ve sometimes been people who were king of both countries — James Stuart is a good example — but the thing about James I is that he had a legitimate claim to both the thrones of Scotland and England; he didn’t marry into the royal family, he had a claim to the throne because he was some kind of sixth-cousin to the Tudors I think.

    In other places, the rulership isn’t always so clear cut; Ferdinand and Isabella, for instance, were the monarchs of Spain, but technically each one was still regent of their own kingdom –Ferdinand was King of Aragon, and Isabella was Queen of Castille; they were only the monarchs of “Spain” taken as a couple.

    It’s simlarly complicated because “Queen” is sometimes in the line of succession and sometimes not — usually daughters of a king are in the line of succession, but not wives. (And sometimes not husbands; that’s why Prince Charles is next in line for the English throne, and not his father, Prince Phillip, who was never actually called King in England because he married a reigning Queen).

    So, what’s weird in this case is that Taillte would be “Queen” in England because she had married the King, and Queen Regent (a reigning Queen) in Ireland when her father died, but she wouldn’t be in the line of succession in England. When her husband died, she’d be Princess again and whoever the King’s eldest son was would be king. There’s no need to assassinate her, she’s “Queen” because she’s the wife of the king, not because she has a legitimate claim to the throne.

    (Exceptions about, of course, and it seems bonkers that a book like this would ignore the fact that the English parliament has had huge influence over the succession of the English throne since at least the 17th century, when Parliament just straight-up threw out a king for being too Catholic, and gave the throne to…well, look, to the husband of a legitimate princess, but historically, husbands are very different from wives.)

    What WOULD be a problem would be her heirs, of course…I mean, assuming her heirs were older than the guys plotting to take the throne (what would make infinitely more sense would be if they were nephews to the king, since his sons would be in the line of succession before them — and Taillte and King Whoever’s son would be King of both England and Ireland, AND Taillte would be Princess Regent until he was old enough to rule). This is sort of what happened in Spain, when Joanna the Mad inherited both Castille and Aragon from her parents (though importantly, they technically remained separate countries, with separate governments and seperate laws — she wasn’t Queen of Aragon and Castille so much as she was Queen of Aragon and ALSO Queen of Castille).

    And in fact, huge wars have been fought over that kind of succession — after the Spanish monarchy got taken over by the Hapsburgs (see Joanna the Mad and her husband Philip the Handsome, which I bring up because those names are GREAT), everybody went to war to keep Philip Anjou from being both king of France AND king of Spain, since that was too many Catholics working too closely together for anybody’s liking.

    Of course, they made a big deal about how Taillte wouldn’t have to bone the old king, which makes this whole notion of a political alliance utter nonsense. Who brokers a political marriage between a princess and a senile old king who’s going to die in a couple months and then doesn’t expect issue? Why wouldn’t they try to marry her to the crown prince? The whole point of these kinds of marriages is that you produce heirs who at the very least have influence in both countries.

    The idea that Taillte is going to marry an old king, he’s going to die and she’s going to be queen of England despite the presence of several healthy male heirs, and then…what? Remarry and have her own children and THOSE children will be heirs to the English AND Irish thrones?

    That’s…that’s not typically how succession works, especially because if she doesn’t have an heir, the crown prince can claim that the king and queen never boned, and HE can have the marriage anulled.

    Reply
  8. devilsjunkshop

    This is bringing back memories of a book called Dark Rose by Mike Lunnon-Wood. It had a serious WTF plot about invading Ireland in order to get the Israelis to surrender Palestine. Despite such nonsense as a combined Brits and Republicans task force I remember it being enormous fun to read.

    Reply
  9. Chackludwig

    My inner historian weeps with you, man. (Also, does Gaelic spelling make sense if you speak the language or is it as random and antiquated as English spelling)

    Reply
    1. ronanwills Post author

      [GUEST COMMENT]

      It makes sense once you know it, but unless you have reason to read/speak it frequently you’ll still stumble across words that are hard to pronounce.

      (For the record, I can pronounce Irish but can understand very little of it.)

      Reply
  10. andrea harris

    Also please fellow Americans stop writing about Ireland. Just because your great great grandma had red hair and freckles doesn’t give you innate knowledge of the place.

    Reply
    1. ronanwills Post author

      [GUEST COMMENT]

      The writing is actually pretty good! Particularly for a self-published book. (I don’t think we’re quite at the stage yet where that stops being a valid qualifier.)

      And despite the ridiculousness of the whole thing, I am having a good time with it. That’s worth something, I guess!

      Reply
  11. BadMantis

    This is a real treasure you found. For some reason this reminds of of that phase I went through one time where I listened to a metric shit ton of Irish rebel music. I don’t think my British friend approved.
    I also found a town In Ireland called Swords. My bucket list just got longer.

    Reply

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