Watch out for the forthcoming release of my novel… The Crest. It’s a purely fictional historical fiction set against the time of early Elizabethan exploration, with a few background real historical events, like the Armada.
The Crest – the blurb…
From the depths of unrecorded science, from the early times of philosophy emerges one whose destiny is his to decide. Fate has changed his world putting him on a path he did not expect. But one which now he could not imagine living without. John Masters is an ordinary boy from an ordinary home, but the early English plantation of Ireland pulls his father away from him and turns his world upside down. Not content with the life fate has given him, he grabs the opportunity to sail the seas looking for the answers he most craves. Along the way he finds adventure, friendship, conflict, and a life that he did not expect to find.
The horizon awaits; aboard the Golden Crest.
Most of the characters in this book are fictitious with the exception of Sir Francis Walsingham who although does not feature directly in the novel, is mentioned, as is Sir Francis Drake. The exceptions also include Doctor John Dee and Queen Elizabeth I herself. The meeting with Doctor Dee and the lead character John is of course a work of fiction, but it is not improbable that Doctor Dee would have had acquaintances of the medical profession. That is not to say that he would have known someone with the dubious background that I had created for Doctor Francis. The speech given by Queen Elizabeth I is famous and can be found in a number of written historical sources, as well as appearing in the film ‘Elizabeth’ starring Cate Blanchett. The actions of Sir Francis Drake in the Spanish Main are based upon real historical accounts as are his exploits in Cadiz. Well known and countless histories have been written about it. The series of events portrayed in the novel did happen, including the feat of the Disdain and the Spanish Armada.
The scientist/philosophers mentioned throughout did exist, from Socrates to Tycho Brahe, as are all the works mentioned.
The name of the merchant vessel the Golden Crest, is an invention for this novel. If it does exist, then it is purely coincidental.
I have not come across any mention that there existed a doctor aboard a merchant ship who practiced what would now be called real science, as opposed to relying on what the ancients said, and it may be unreasonable for something of this nature to occur, which is why I made sure that the work involved was kept secret. It was common for men of wealth to take an interest in science and conduct reason on their own time at home.
My novel is dedicated to the unknown people out there, if any indeed existed, whose interest in science and capability to understand and progress science has been hindered by their circumstances. It was only when life circumstances beyond John’s control allowed him to realise his dream of making a difference academically that he does so. Even though, it would be more for himself, for he realises that no one would ever read anything he ever wrote. It is also dedicated to the unsung heroes of science whose names never get or got a mention.
The names of Galileo, Newton and Einstein are all well known, for their sheer brilliance, which cannot be underestimated, and also for the opportunities that were available to them Tycho Brahe, for instance, received his own island base to conduct his astronomical research from the King. But there were countless others who dedicated their lives to science (and philosophy) who have never received any of the praise or legacy these other men have.
This is of course a work of fiction. It did not happen – or at least history has not recorded anything like it, as far as I am aware. But in the very beginning of the enlightenment period there may have been others – not born and raised into privilege going and studying at the major universities in Europe – who may have made a contribution to science. The names of these men and women, we will never know.