The Attempted Theft of the Crown Jewels!

The Other Gwyn Girl by Nicola CornickNicola here, delving into a historical mystery behind my latest book The Other Gwyn Girl. A number of people who have read the book have asked if the attempted theft of the Crown Jewels really happened or whether it was novelistic licence. Well, I can confirm it really did happen although the involvement of Rose and Nell Gwyn is my imagination filling in the gaps in history.

Here’s the story. In May 1671 a most extraordinary attempt was made to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Never before or since had anyone attempted such an audacious theft although over the years various parts of the collection had been lost, sold or destroyed. King John had lost some of them in the waters of The Wash in 1215 (that’s another story!) but the most notable loss was in 1649 when Oliver Cromwell ordered them to be “totally broken” as a symbolic step after the execution of King Charles I. Some items were sold off, others melted down and only the 12th century coronation spoon remained from the medieval period.

When King Charles II was restored to the throne of England in 1660, he commissioned a whole new set of regalia from the royal goldsmith Robert Vyner for his 1661 coronation. As now, the Crown Jewels were stored in the Tower of London and people could view them by paying a fee to the custodian. In 1671 the Master of the Jewel House was 77-year-old Talbot Edwards whose domestic quarters were right next to the jewels in the Martin Tower (pic by Ethan Doyle White, Wikimedia).

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London Calling!

IMG_0978London calling!

by Mary Jo

Did you know that cruise ships migrate like birds?  In summer they flock to Europe, cruising from Nordic regions to the Mediterranean and more.  In autumn, they turn and head to the Western hemisphere, particularly the Caribbean.  They do this because tourists follow the sun, and so do the cruise ships.

This means that ships do repositioning cruises twice a year, spending days crossing the Atlantic with very few ports of call.  This is great if you like lots of lazy days at sea and the Mayhem Consultant and I do.  Hence we cruised from Southampton in England to Miami, with three stops in Europe and seven glorious sea days. 

 

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Avian Friends

Hugin MuninChristina here. I’ve been mulling over ideas for a new story, and one of the things I’d like to add is an unusual pet. In the past, I’ve always given my heroes and heroines faithful canine companions, but this time I want something a little bit different. I’m considering a pet raven.

As I write about Viking times, this seems appropriate, since the god Odin was said to have two ravens – Huginn (Old Norse for ‘thought’) and Muninn (Old Norse for ‘memory’). According to the sagas, this pair would fly across the world each day and then return to Odin to give him information about anything that might concern him. His personal spies, as it were. It is interesting that this particular type of bird was chosen by the god to be his informants – Vikings must have known how clever they are.

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