Saturday, March 15, 2014
The Beloved Invader/Treachery At Sharpnose Point
Meike, my blogging friend from Germany wrote a very interesting post which you may read just here. Meike lives in Ludwigsburg and while walking through a local graveyard, she noticed the gravestone of an English woman . Being the curious, intelligent woman that she is (once a Librarian, always a Librarian she tells us!) she researched the name and dates that she observed and gave us as many details as she could find! She also showed us clothes and a hairstyle that the woman, Dolly Dick might have worn during the time that she lived. Now, when I read this post it reminded me very much of TWO books that I want to tell you about, one set in England and the other in Georgia (USA) but both were inspired by visits to graveyards...
Eugenia Price wrote "The Beloved Invader" after she saw the gravestone of Anson Dodge at Christ Church on St. Simon's Island, Georgia. It is based upon an Episcopal priest who was sent to Georgia after the Civil War. Even though he was a Northerner and was at first distrusted, he came to love the Georgia people, Anson Dodge was also very much loved by the islanders, hence the name, "The Beloved Invader". Even though this is a work of fiction, you imagine that Eugenia Price researched the life of Anson Dodge so thoroughly that the whole book reads like non-fiction. (For me, that is the highest praise!) I read this book many years ago, as a teenager, and I have never forgotten it. If you are ever in St. Simon's Island, Georgia, you may visit the church and the graveyard. Now, Eugenia Price is buried in the same graveyard, as she also was a devout Episcopalian and a beloved citizen of the island as well.
Jeremy Seal wrote the book, "Treachery At Sharpnose Point:Unravelling The Mystery of the Caledonia's Final Voyage". When he was walking through a graveyard at a church in Morwenstow, Cornwall...he saw what he considered a strange looking angel but realized that it was instead a wooden figurehead from a ship! From that unlikely sighting, he researched the sinking of the ship, the Caledonia, which went down in 1842. I have very mixed feelings about this book. At first, I really enjoyed the research that he did and the story of the Caledonia, but I felt that too much of it is conjecture on his part and not based on any facts. Perhaps there were some villains who tried to make ships wreck just so as to strip them, but somehow, the way that the author presented this just did not ring true to me. In particular, making an Anglican priest such as Robert Stephen Hawker, the bad guy is a bit of a stretch to me.
So, two books that I know of that were inspired by trips to the graveyard. One that I truly think is excellent, the other...not so much. Now, what books can YOU think of that fit this category? And make sure you read Meike's post and encourage her to write her own book!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! It is almost Spring! All the Bradford Pear trees that are blooming now look like brides dressed in their bridal gowns, so full and beautiful this year!