Monday, 6 February 2017

An Old Inn

A writer either of historical fiction or of science fiction involving time travel to the past can potentially find background material in any new information about a historical period.

Today, walking along Lancaster Canal, we visited the Hest Bank Inn which:

has existed since the sixteenth century;
originally brewed mead;
was captured by both sides in the English Civil War;
became a den for highwaymen;
displayed a light to guide travelers across the treacherous sands of Morecambe Bay;
nowadays serves Lancashire cheese and onion pie.

We may safely conjecture that Time Patrol agents on a mission to counteract extratemporal interference in the Civil War would stay overnight in such an inn and might even revisit it when they had returned to their own periods.

Also, Patrol agents operating in England would almost certainly recruit a certain private inquiry agent in his retirement to enlist his help in a case involving Jonathan Wild, the Moriarty of an earlier century.

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And I'm surprised Poul Anderson never wrote Time Patrol story set in the English Civil War. I can easily time travelers from the remote future trying to divert history into what they believed was a better channel by having the rebel Parliament and Oliver Cromwell losing the war.

    Sean

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  2. Paul:
    Very tenuously related, but years ago I skimmed historical novel *A Wayside Tavern* by Norah Lofts, featuring a tavern (surprise, surprise) that because of its location along a well-traveled road had been in business at least since the Romans departed Britain (the first section dealt with a Roman soldier left behind by his unit for some reason).

    Though I don't quite recall, I THINK ownership stayed in the same family to some degree ever since that Roman — loosely and with name changes due to sometimes passing through female inheritors rather than male.

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    Replies
    1. Kaor, DAVID!

      Well, taverns are fairly frequently seen in both the SF and fantasies of Poul Anderson! Such as the Old Phoenix.

      And we see taverns in Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The inn called The Sign of the Prancing Pony in Bree has been in the Butterbur family for many generations.

      Sean

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