Egypt Was Better Off In The British Empire:
Egypt may be a fully functioning state, but it does not function as well as it did in the days of the British Empire. Agatha Christie could write Death on the Nile because there were actually lots of Brits living in Egypt in those days and lots of tourists, too, as I advertise in Salisbury Plot where Dora and Edward visit the Sphinx and Helga takes advantage of the opportunity to chase Dora up the monument where she hides behind the Sphinx’s head. Helga then plants a cobra to attack her. Leopold saves all, only to get shot and tumble down the side of the Sphinx. And there was all that great stuff about British Mid East Headquarters, too, where Edward worked in several of the novels. Remember how he was defending it in the Battle of El Alamein? Those were far more interesting days in Egyptian history than now. Now you can’t even get there to visit the pyramids at all. Somehow the terrorists have managed to curtail a 2000 year old plus tourist industry. Remember how Julius Caesar visited Egypt during the Alexandrian Campaign? Now he would not be able to go ashore.
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The Days of the British Empire:
I really know absolutely nothing about Malaya, Kenya, and Cyprus and their place in the British Empire. I once read a mystery novel entitled Death in Kenya by M.M. Kaye who used to be one of my favorite novelists. She used to write a lot about the British Empire. Her husband was in the army and stationed all over the place. She went along and wrote novels about where they were stationed. Kenya was one of the places. But that is the only book I ever read set in Kenya.
What I didn’t like was the British evacuation of Egypt in I think 1956. Geizira Island was a nice place BEFORE that. I got the impression that in the days of Edward and Dora Egypt was in general a much safer place to visit than it is now. Cunard won’t go ashore in Egypt anymore. No more shore excursions. They just sail past through the Suez Canal. Their cameras are always off at the time, and you can never see the transit online. I think they are trying to avoid terrorists.
Salisbury Plot, volume 2 of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, is an historical thriller about the days of the British Empire. Much of the novel is set in Egypt at the British enclave of Gezira Island. Colonel Sir Edward Ware is stationed at British Mid-East Headquarters in Cairo all the way from his days with Lawrence of Arabia in World War 1 through the desert campaigns in North Africa under the Awk and Montgomery battling Rommel during World War 2. Colonel Sir Edward Ware becomes General Lord Edward Ware by the end of the war.
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New Cover For Murder at Hamlet’s Castle:
What do you think of the brand new cover for Murder at Hamlet’s Castle? You can find it on the book page on the website
http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org. After narrowly escaping the von Wessels, Hitler’s chief spies, in Santa Fe while on leave from Mid East Quarters in Cairo, Edward and Dora don’t know where to go next and where to hide the Lawrence maps, key to world domination. They have just been watching a production of Hamlet when they get a note from Winston Churchill. He says that he and Clemmie got locked in the dungeon of Hamlet’s Castle in Helsingor, Denmark. It was where the Danish army used to be billeted in the Middle Ages. They had to raise Hamlet’s ghost screaming to be let out. It just occurred to Winston it would be a perfect location to hide the much sought after military maps. No one would ever suspect they were there — and if they did they would never be able to escape with their lives let alone the prize that Hitler has been seeking for years.
But after a huge chase scene to get away from states they meet unexpected obstacles in the castle in 1934. The mistress who keeps the place up turns out to be the perfect Nazi spy in cahoots with Hitler and the von Wessels. Once again they need to escape. But this time they meet an unexpected ally in the famous Dane himself, Shakespeare’s most famous character. They uncover Hamlet’s secret notebooks that tell them just what they need to know. Others were cornered in this castle long ago. Hamlet tells them how he escaped in a tale that upsets all previous notions of the man, his character, and his fate.
Murder at Hamlet’s Castle by Dora Benley will be published soon by Cheops Books LLC.
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Edward Ware Thrillers at War in History:
Edward Ware Thrillers at War discusses themes of British and German history. I don’t think England ever had anything like the Thirty Years War in Germany, the big bad religious war between Catholics and Protestants that according to Gary made WW1 and WW2 look like a picnic by comparison. The Thirty Years War left more people dead than the Black Death. It was the worst war in German history by far. Henry VIII was pretty bad but he wasn’t as bad as the Thirty Years War with all his monastery burning, etc. In fact England has been pretty dominant in Europe since the days of the Tudors, certainly since the days of the Glorious Revolution. And England was where the Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century. England obviously had more colonies than anybody else and a much bigger Empire, too. Even at the beginning of WW1 there were articles in American newspapers about the British Navy off the coast of North America PROTECTING US. People in the US felt safe with Great Britain there.
Then came WW1 and WW2, and we know the story. Since that takes us to the present era, we can’t say what will be the next chapter for England. But it has the strange and unusual advantage of having its language be the dominant one in the world. Also the US speaks English. Britain is allowed all sorts of special advantages in Europe because of its relationship with the US. The Germans will go only so far because of this. But in a sense I think it is the Germans, not the Russians, who are still the real opposition to the US and to England despite the fact that they have almost no armed forces.
Germany was the home of both Communism and Facism. I think East Germany was propping up the whole Soviet Union somehow. Hitler and Stalin were playing at dividing up Eastern Europe. More recently Merkel and Putin came up with some natural gas or oil or both agreement which is what Poland doesn’t like because it remembers the days of Stalin and Hitler. Putin speaks German. He feels comfortable in Germany and the Netherlands. So did Peter the Great of Russia who tried to model St. Petersburg on Amsterdam. Germany has been a big influence in Russia for a long time. Catherine the Great came from Germany and was originally Lutheran. There is something going on between Russia and Germany that has been percolating for centuries. Just remember the extreme leftist riots that greeted Trump a few weeks ago in Hamburg.
Also Germany since the mid 19th century has been expanding and trying to create an empire. My mother had a book from college called Germany Will Try It Again about a theme of modern German history. That is why I say they are the real enemy.
These are the themes that controlled the race to find the Lawrence maps, key to world domination, that are featured in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. Will it be the Germans under the Kaiser or Hitler? Or will it be the British and Americans under Churchill and Roosevelt? The battle continues to the present day.
Turn the page and find out what happens next.
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Is This Hamlet’s Ship? A Viking Reconstruction:
A couple of years ago there was an exhibition at the British Museum on the Viking culture. I bought the book that went with the exhibit called Vikings: Life and Legend by Gareth Williams, Peter Penz, and Matthias Wemhoff. It sounded interesting. I wish I could have seen it. Too bad they don’t put the exhibitions online the way they do with the permanent collection! But at least I was able to order a copy. Little did I know then that I would be writing a novel about Hamlet, who must have been a Viking or at least a descendant of Vikings in Denmark.
Fortinbras, whether he was the king of Norway or of Sweden right across the straits from Helsingor or Elsinore, obviously had a superior naval force or he would not be attacking and invading. He had probably already killed King Hamlet, Prince Hamlet’s father, in battle. Now Fortinbras was almost certainly after Hamlet, too, and Hamlet knew it. Was he going into battle like his father or was he going to escape somehow? Either way he would obviously have to get out one of his long boats, Viking style. We have pictured here in the blog post a reconstruction of just such a Viking long boat. It is a reconstruction of Skuldelev, which must have been a famous Viking ship. It is from the British Museum exhibition.
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Hamlet v. Fortinbras: The Real Conflict Of Hamlet:
Yes, people think that gloomy, cloudy, rainy weather where you rarely see the sun would be ideal for Hamlet. This certainly fits Shakespeare’s hero, but what if there were an historic Hamlet who was different? It might not be ideal for him. After all, Hamlet’s kingdom, poised on the sea with Sweden only miles away across the straits where Fortinbras ruled, was under siege and attack. (I think it makes more sense than having Fortinbras be from Norway). That might have been the real reason that Hamlet’s father had been killed instead of an incestuous murder plot on the part of his uncle who wanted to marry Hamlet’s mother. And of course the prince has to take over for his father and fight Fortinbras who is the real enemy of the piece instead of just some foreign monarch who wanders on the stage at the end and finds the Danish court all dead. In other words someone should have written the famous tragedy as the conflict between Hamlet and Fortinbras.
Another important point is that Hamlet is obviously a Viking type. Fortinbras would also be a Viking. They would live in a world of warfare by sea. If Shakespeare were true to type, he would have the Danish Prince from Elsinore revving up his long boats. Supposedly a more recent author named John Updike tried his hand at the story. He more recently wrote a novel called Gertrude and Claudius emphasizing the Viking the connection.
These new conflicts and perspectives are all incorporated in the upcoming Cheops Books LLC historical thriller, Murder at Hamlet’s Castle.
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Hamlet-Like Weather in Helsingor, Denmark:
Even in midsummer Scandanavia seems to be a bit nippy to say the least. It reminds me a little of the weather in Newport, Oregon on the Pacific Northwest Coast in the summer time. I have been looking up the weather in Helsingor, Denmark now for several weeks on a daily basis in June and J. I am trying to get a feel for it. That is one of the important settings of my novel Murder at Hamlet’s Castle. Kronborg Castle, or Hamlet’s Castle, is in Helsingor, or Elsinore. The highs seem to always be in the 60’s and the lows are in the 50’s. It does rain some days. It is frequently cloudy, and seems to be the perpetually gloomy type of climate ideal for Hamlet.
Nor does Helsingor seem to have many distractions the way Newport, Oregon does. Newport has a beach. Perhaps Helsingor does, too, but I wonder. I have not heard it mentioned. Perhaps Hamlet’s town is just too far north for that sort of thing. Newport, Oregon also features the Oregon State Aquarium with whales and all sorts of sea creatures and birds that inhabit the Pacific Northwest Coast. I don’t think Helsingor has that sort of thing either. The most I have heard about are shops that sell Danish pastries and various kinds of folk cooking. That sounds more like Europe. Perhaps they can whip up a dish that even Hamlet would like to eat.
Murder at Hamlet’s Castle will soon be published by Cheops Books LLC.
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Hitler’s Agent Visits Paris, France:
In the wake of Trump’s visit to Paris for Bastille Day we have been discussing France. I have used France occasionally as a setting for my novels. I did use the French part of Belgium, Wallonia, as the setting for Inn at the Crossroads, my novel about Napoleon. But France itself has managed to wedge its way in there once in a blue moon. For instance Dora and Edward meet Churchill at the Ritz Hotel for a long luncheon right after they escape Hitler’s clutches in the novel Hitler’s Agent, which I am about to publish on October 15. They have just escaped Mussolini in Venice and sailed through the Mediterranean out past the Rock of Gibraltar to Paris going in that direction. Dora has Thomasina with her and is surrounded by guards that she has hired for the occasion to protect her from the Nazis. Helga, who is Hitler’s Agent, and Herr von Wessel make an entrance into the dining room. They send Dora notes about the Lawrence maps, key to world domination, with the cooperation of the waiters. Helga is seated by a statue of Venus. But Dora puts an end to that, too. It is one of the few occasions where Helga is in the same room with Churchill. The two don’t mix well as characters, mind you. But at least on that occasion Dora and Edward managed to escape back to Ware Hall in the south of England for more adventures. For the historical thriller, Hitler’s Agent, does not end there.
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France In The Edward Ware Thrillers At War Series:
Where all have you traveled in France? I came close to returning there two years ago. We were not far away, but it was a no go. The closest we got was Luxembourg City in 2015. Then we went to Waterloo instead of Dunkirk.
But when I was a kid, I went to Paris, of course. We went to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre (where we saw the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and Mona Lisa the quick tour route), Versailles, Fontainbleau, Napoleon’s Tomb, Montmartre where I also spent a Bastille Day watching Frenchmen dance in the streets and shoot off fireworks, and the Ritz where my brother and I actually ate lunch. I also arranged a special driver to take me to Illiers where Marcel Proust was born. In those days he was my favorite French writer. I got to see his teacups and his petite pastries that he made so much of. On the way back to Paris we saw the Romanesque Chartres Cathedral.
On the Bastille Day that we spent in Paris I don’t think I ever saw a bigger fireworks display anywhere else.
Our only French setting in Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series is in Wallonia instead of France itself. Wallonia is the French section of Belgium near Waterloo. And Waterloo is the subject of the novel Inn at the Crossroads, soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC.
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