Thank you for listening to Must Love Chainmail!
I hope you enjoyed Katy and Robert! Keep scrolling to read my historical note about the events in the book. And if you join my mailing list for the latest news, I’ll send you deleted scenes as a thank you! If you realllly loved it, and want to help pimp my books and get free content and be the first to hear of news, you can join my fan group, Angela’s Time-Traveling Steampunk Regency Assassins!
Want some visuals? While drafting and revising, I created a Pinterest board to help visualize and brainstorm, and it includes not only some historic clothing, but also which actor I pictured for Robert 🙂
Book Three continues with Traci’s adventures. Want more? Follow Traci to seventeenth-century Scotland. The Jacobite Rebellion–not the best time to get drunk, hook up with a guy, and lose your sister. Learn more.
Please feel free to reach out to me. I love to hear from readers about what they loved (or didn’t) about my books, so drop me a line if you’d like at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on twitter at @angelaquarles, or on my Facebook page.
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Also by Angela Quarles
Beer and Groping in Las Vegas
an erotic geek romantic comedy
Steam Me Up, Rawley
a steampunk romance
Must Love Breeches
Book One in the Must Love series
Must Love Chainmail
Book Two in the Must Love series
Must Love Kilts
Book Three in the Must Love series
Must Love More Kilts
Book Four in the Must Love series
Join my mailing list to be among the first to hear of its release!
Wow, where to start! I had a lot of fun (and some frustrations) researching this novel. The main rebellion on which the events in this story hang, Madog’s Rebellion of 1294, is an often overlooked, and short-lived, uprising against King Edward. If anyone is only glancingly familiar with the Welsh attempts to maintain or regain their sovereignty, it’s usually those centered on Llywelyn the Great and Llywelyn the Last prior to the events of this novel, or that of Owain Glyndŵr from 1400-1415. Focusing on this rebellion was a little frustrating due to the paucity of the information, but this was also a blessing, as it gave me more narrative freedom.
Castell y Bere was one of the first castles to be besieged by the Welsh, but the records are unclear as to what exactly happened. Some scholars take at face value that since King Edward ordered a relief party to be sent (twice) to this castle meant that the party arrived and relieved the besieged. But the total silence of any mention of the royal town of Bere and its castle after this could argue otherwise (as some scholars have). Combined with the discovery of a layer of ash over the remains, I seized on this as a plot point—having the besiegers succeed via fire. The low numbers of defenders is on record, however. Originally, I’d meant for the castle to be fictitious, but when I stumbled upon Castell y Bere in my research, I’m pretty sure I got the goose bumps as I realized how perfect it would be for my story.
The Welsh did besiege Harlech, Caernarfon, and Rhuthun (Ruthin) castles, but whether or not Madog occupied Rhuthun, much less made it his base like I portray, is unknown as far as I could find—according to one history, they were successful in besieging it, but beyond that, I don’t know. Historical figures included Simon de Montfort, King Edward, Sir Robert Staundon (commander of Castell y Bere), Sir Robert Fitzwalter, Madog ap Llywelyn, Sir Reginald de Grey, Sir Griffith de la Pole (Lord of Powys), and Maelgwn ap Rhys. Apparently de Grey was in Flint, even though his castle had been besieged, and the chaos around Flint, and the burnt town is true. However, I only made it partially burned, so Robert and Katy could have an inn to stay in. I also took liberties with ascribing the destruction of a monastery to Lord Powys, which is completely fictional, as was the event itself and the monastery; apologies to his descendants! For a good history of this rebellion, see The Revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn by Craig Owen Jones.
While Robert and his father are fictional, the events Robert describes surrounding his father and the Oxford Provisions were pulled from history. His description in Chapter Twenty-Four of that conflict were accurate as far as I could make it, except for his own father being a part of it, of course. Simon de Montfort was a fascinating historical figure, and if you’re wanting to read a great historical fiction surrounding him, as well as the early Welsh wars with Llywelyn the Great and Llywelyn the Last, Sharon Kay Penman’s Welsh Princes trilogy makes for an absorbing read.
The legend Katy mentions, about anyone who spends the night on Cadair Idris Mountain will wake up either a madman or a poet is a real legend.
When Robert is asking Katy where she’s from and hears that she’s from the West, past Ireland, he mentions Madoc the Shipbuilder. This Welshman does exist in the legends and historians and enthusiasts have come up with various possible places where he settled. One of which, of interest to me since I live in Mobile, Alabama, is that his party settled here and his descendants intermarried with the native population.
On their last night at Rhuthun castle, as Robert follows Katy up the stairs, I drew inspiration from the wonderfully sensuous painting Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs by Frederic William Burton, which hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.
Finally, a note on language. I had to take liberties with writing Robert’s point of view, since the actual language he’d have spoken wouldn’t be possible for me to write. So I wrote it in modern English, using modern words that I’m going to assume he’d have the equivalent word for in his. For instance, the concept of the word “fuck” would’ve been around, if not the word itself (though some debate how old that word truly is). Anyway, I had de Buche use it, as the power of that word worked in that scene and I’m sure he’d have used the equivalent in his language. “Machinations” is another example—the etymology for English is late 1400s, but it’s derived from Old French, so I took the liberty of making it a part of Robert’s French. I tried to avoid using words for concepts or technology Robert wouldn’t have been aware of, but some might have slipped by me. With that said, I took the literary license to cast his speech and syntax so that it sounds “older.” Hopefully, I struck the right balance with getting you immersed in his time period without it being overloaded with thees and thous to where you gritted your teeth and wanted to smack me upside the head.
About the Author
Angela Quarles is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of time travel and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.