Monday, 29 May 2017

Regicides

This is the death warrant of Charles I who was beheaded in 1649. No doubt this event is reflected in many ways in works of fiction. I will mention just two. It is strange to find such an obscure link between Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest and Ian Fleming's "For Your Eyes Only."

Anderson's Prince Rupert, forewarned by travelers from the futures of two other timelines, is able to prevent the execution of the King in his timeline. See here. In Fleming's story, a family called Havelock owns a plantation in Jamaica that was given to an ancestor by Cromwell as a reward for signing Charles I's death warrant. Since there is no Havelock in the list of Regicides in our timeline (see here), it follows that the James Bond series is also set in an alternative history. Major events, like a nuclear explosion in the North Sea and an attack on Fort Knox, establish that Bond's twentieth century diverges from ours. His seventeenth century also differs by at least one signature.

And, if anyone can find a more obscure link between two works of fiction, then I will be very interested to hear about it.

6 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Ha! That was a truly obscure link to find between two such very different works of fiction. I would argue, however, that Fleming, for the sake of his fiction, wanted to invent a fictional connection between the Havelocks of Jamaica with the execution of Charles I without naming any REAL families. In order to avoid causing any offense.

After all, many people in the UK still get twitchy about Oliver Cromwell and his military dictatorship. I doubt any actual descendants of the regicides care to advertise that!

Sean

S.M. Stirling said...

One of Bond's villains is named Drax, and comes from Jamaica -- and there was a real Drax family which was prominent in the British Caribbean.

Paul Shackley said...

Mr Stirling,
Did Bond's Drax deffo come from Jamaica? I remember him as: German; very Nazi; one of Otto Skorzeny's men who masqueraded as Allied troops; injured by an explosion; found by the Allies; thought to be one of their own; feigning amnesia; wrongly identified with a missing Englishman; becoming part of the British establishment; plotting the destruction of London. Of course, maybe Jamaica was somewhere in his background as well.
Paul.

David Birr said...

Paul:
I think Mr. Stirling meant "Drax" the German was pretending to be Drax the Jamaican.

Paul Shackley said...

David,
Yes, that could be it. In fact, I ought to look it up.
Paul.

Paul Shackley said...

Later: Not Jamaica but an interesting story.