|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 26, 2019 at 7:20 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 26) in 1897 Bram Stoker published Dracula essentially opening the subgenre of vampire stories and paving the way for books like Salem's Lot and series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anita Blake and Twilight. My first completed novel (the never published, In the Dark) was a vampire story and a vampire plays a prominent role in my Occult-tober novel, Blood Ties. Anyone have a favorite vampire book or movie?
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 25, 2019 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 25) in 1961, John F. Kennedy announced his goal of sending a man to the moon by the end of the decade. The Space Race had been a major part of JFK’s electoral campaign as he capitalized on the predominant feeling that Eisenhower had let the Soviet’s get a significant lead on the U.S. in this important field. However, he basically dropped the whole Space Race idea for the first few months of his presidency. Then on April 12, 1961 Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space and JFK had to do something to reassure the nation. He chose the Apollo Program and the goal of landing a man on the moon.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 25, 2019 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 24) in 1487 ten-year-old commoner Lambert Simnel was crowned by rebels as King of England under the name Edward VI. Simnel had the misfortune of looking like the royal line of England and was used by Yorkists in Ireland to inspire a rebellion against Henry VII who had just won the War of the Roses. The rebellion was crushed, but Henry—who killed every possible Yorkist claimant (except his wife) that he could get his hands on—decided not to kill the ten-year-old. Instead he made him a scullion in the palace and used his miserable state to discourage other plots against him.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 23, 2019 at 5:10 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 23) in 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians as she led the rearguard covering the retreat of her force into the city of Compiegne. The governor of Compiegne, Guillaume de Flavy, ordered the city gates closed before the rearguard entered the city. Whether this was an act of treachery to keep Joan from reaching safety or an act of prudence to keep the Burgundians from overwhelming the rearguard and capturing the city has been debated ever since. The Burgundians would eventually turn Joan over to the English who burned her death for alleged heresy—as the only way they could explain how a woman could lead an army and reverse the military fortunes of the English and their allies was to link her success to the enemies of God.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 21, 2019 at 5:00 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 21) in 1758, ten year old Mary Campbell was kidnapped by the Lenape during the French and Indian War. She was probably adopted by a Lenape family. Six years later the British forced the Lenape to return Mary to her family along with many other captive children (60 names are recorded). To the shock of both the British and the families of these children, about half of them tried to return to the Lenape. The forced return of these children was the subject of two fictional novels by Conrad Richter, The Light in the Forest and A Country of Strangers. I read both as a child—they are haunting novels of children kidnapped at a young age who assimilated with the Lenape and could not transition back to the civilizations they were born into.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 20, 2019 at 5:00 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 20) in 794, King Aethelberht of East Anglia was murdered. He was on a visit to his fiancé, Princess Aelfthryth of Mercia, at the Mercian court of Sutton Walls when he was taken captive by Aelfthryth’s father, King Offa, and beheaded. It’s not clear why he was murdered, but one theory is that he was trying to exert East Anglia’s independence from Mercia. The story quickly developed that his severed head fell off a cart and cured a blind man. He was eventually canonized.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 18, 2019 at 5:45 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May Eighteen) in 1896 the Supreme Court established the standard of "separate but equal" in the case Plessy vs Fergusson. (Homer Plessy had been arrested for taking a seat in a “white’s only” railroad car in Louisiana.) The ruling permitted the establishment of the Jim Crow era in the south which institutionalized segregation of the races at every level of society. It wasn't overturned until 1954 in Brown vs Topeka Board of Education.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 17, 2019 at 4:55 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 17) in 1792, 24 stockbrokers met beneath a buttonwood tree on Wall Street in New York City and formed the New York Stock Exchange. They pledged only to deal with each other in sales and to fix their commissions on sales at 0.25%. The early New York Stock Exchange was all about limiting competition among brokers to preserve their income.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 15, 2019 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
The First Snows, the second novel in my Winterhaven series, is now available for pre-order at 25% off the cover price.
Sane men spend the winter season bundled up in their homes near the fire praying for spring to come, so insanity must be on the rise in Winterhaven. With the tenuous unity of the Great Lords fractured by the failures of the Duke’s army in the west and the accusations of heresy against his son, new armies are secretly mobilizing even in this bitterest of seasons. Yet can even knights as great as William Lord Tavistock and Sir Conn of Edgefield lead armies to victory after the first snows have fallen?
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on May 14, 2019 at 4:40 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (May 14) in 1607 Jamestown was founded. It was the first permanent English settlement in North America. It almost didn't make it. Only 60 out of 900 settlers survived the first three years.