Tariq Ibn Ziyad: The History of the Pillars of Hercules
Originally captured in 711 AD and fortified by Tariq Ibn Ziyad, the Moorish invader of Spain, Gibraltar didn’t belong to Spain again until 1462. (Before that it must have been Roman. Remember the Pillars of Hercules?) That was only thirty years before Granada fell and Columbus sailed for the New World. It belonged to Spain from 1462 to 1711, less than three hundred years. The British captured it in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. So the British have held Gibraltar longer than the Spanish ever did. At the end of the war the Treaty of Utrecht ceded Gibraltar to the British. Then during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, the French and Spanish unsuccessfully tried to take it back from 1779 to 1783. The same Treaty of Paris that gave the US its independence confirmed that Gibraltar would still belong to the British. In 1830 Gibraltar was made a British Crown Colony. They adopted a new constitution for Gibraltar in 1969. Spain closed the border between Gibraltar and Spain from 1969 to 1985. All residents of Gibraltar were granted British citizenship in 1981. So you see this sovereignty dispute has been going on for quite awhile. The Spanish never give up. I don’t think they are about ready to give up either.
You say Franco organized a smooth transition to democracy, and he was so enlightened. But one of my relatives visited Spain in 1972 before the end of Franco and told tales. Did you ever visit Franco’s Spain? Did any of your relatives? It didn’t seem so enlightened from what I heard. For one thing Franco dictated your itinerary. You could not go on any tour outside Madrid without visiting the Valley of the Fallen to commemorate the Spanish Civil War. Everywhere you went you were accompanied by guards. Soldiers marched outside your hotel and you couldn’t go anywhere without their permission. My aunt said that you weren’t even allowed to speak to the Spanish people outside the hotel at all. She claimed that she felt uncomfortable being there. A tour guide at the Prado in Madrid told her that line about the smooth transition to democracy after Franco’s death under the King Juan Carlos who would have full control until then. She scoffed and said that she wondered when Spain had ever been democratic BEFORE that, so what were they converting back to? Spain had no idea what democracy was.
Spain is the repressive regime that wants Gibraltar back, not the enlightened state that you think it is.
Located at the ancient Pillars of Hercules at the western entrance to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar is one of those exotic locales that form the backdrop of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels published by Cheops Books LLC. Edward and Dora visit Gibraltar in Hitler’s Agent. It is also mentioned by Pliny the Elder in the Vesuvius Plot. The famous apes of Gibraltar are mentioned again by Pliny the Elder in Old Faithful Plot along with many other infamous locales.
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Gibraltar Through The Ages:
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Gary says that there is a cartoon in the UK Telegraph today about the Gibraltar stand off. It has May dressed like like Elizabeth 1 in a pose that is positively regal. The title of the cartoon is The English Armada. You can see out through a window behind her the Straits of Gibraltar and the Rock of Gibraltar. But why would a British admiral be quoted as saying that the English could singe the beard of the King of Spain? Why is he allowed to talk like that?
Apparently the British got Gibraltar during the War of the Spanish Succession. The British captured Gibraltar in 1704, over three hundred years ago. If the British had gotten their candidate on the Spanish throne, then they probably would have given up Gibraltar to him. But they didn’t succeed, and in the Peace Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Gibraltar was ceded to the British. They have been there ever since. At the time the British thought it was a strategic location and saw the advantages of it despite the three year siege of Gibraltar at the end of the eighteenth century between 1780 and 1783. The Spanish and the French were trying to get Gibraltar back. The British were way outnumbered, and they started hollowing out tunnels in the rocks. They were firing cannon down on the enemy. The Spanish and French were trying to starve them out, and there had to be relief expeditions sent by the British to keep the garrison well-supplied. The Spanish have been complaining about it ever since even during WW2. Franco right after the Fall of France was making noises about Gibraltar. Hitler even offered to give Franco Gibraltar if he would fight on his side. Once it became clear that the British were not going to be defeated, Franco called that off. And the British have held onto it ever since. There is no way they could give up now — except to the US. And the US is very reluctant to take on overseas territories. It is just too key a strategic position.
Gibraltar is a setting in the upcoming Edward Ware Thrillers at War title Hitler’s Agent. Even the apes of Gibraltar play a role. Dora and Edward find themselves docking there to refuel on their flight from Hitler and Mussolini in Italy back to Paris to meet Churchill at the Ritz and finally to Southampton.
First Spanish War Since Napoleon:
Gary wonders if there is going to be another war with a Spanish speaking entity, this time about Gibraltar instead of the Falklands. He is quoting some British Admiral named Rear Admiral Chris Parry. He said that Britain isn’t as powerful as it was during the Falklands War but it is 3 times more powerful than Spain when it comes to the navy. He claimed that in the defense of Gibraltar during the breakup of the EU Britain could singe the King of Spain’s Beard, and that is a quote. How is it that British Admirals can go around talking like that unless it is with the permission of the PM? In the US American generals and admirals NEVER talk like that even with the permission of the President. The President and the Secretary of State, Defense, etc usually make all the politically charged statements — not the military. Gary claims that if we were on a Mediterranean Cruise and anchored at Gibraltar especially on the QM2, there we would be in the middle of a war zone and the British navy would probably commission the ship!!! We would be stuck having to fly back to the States.
I think I should add all this as an Afterword to my Napoleonic novel, Inn at the Crossroads — about the modern day Napoleonic tiff that might just occur though I don’t see how the US would permit a war in Western Europe. Back in the days of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon put his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain. An uprising in Madrid was crushed, but there were guerilla attacks out in the countryside. They were doing hit and run on the French troops. The British under Sir Arthur put in a small force to support the guerillas in Spain to stir things up. This was the last time that the British fought in Spain. But at Trafalgar Nelson was fighting a combined French-Spanish fleet in 1805. So earlier in the Napoleonic Wars British was actually fighting Spain itself.
Here is the plot of the novel Inn at the Crossroads, part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series: Lizette receives an urgent missive from her mother and sister in the town of Waterloo to come and rescue them and bring them to Ave et Auffe where she is married to the old man innkeeper of the Inn at the Crossroads. The British under the Duke of Wellington are invading Waterloo in preparation for the Battle after campaigns in Spain where they fought the French and the Spanish. When she gets to Waterloo, she finds that her family couldn’t wait. They went to Brussels to help her aunt sew dresses for the ball. The crazy Duchess of Richmond has decided to have a grand ball on the eve of the battle, the soldiers be damned. Gaston, Lizette’s husband’s only son, shows up and threatens his stepmother he will expose her and drag her home if she doesn’t get information for the cause of the Emperor Napoleon. She is to dance with the officers, including Edward Ware’s great-grandfather, and report to him. But little does Gaston realize the complications that he creates. Lizette is arrested and thrown in jail. Will Gaston be able to rescue her? Will he be able to help Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo? Read Inn at the Crossroads, an historical thriller.
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Cruising Along Route 66 With Cheops Books:
Old Faithful Plot has recently expanded to include Route 66. The Lincoln Highway began in 1913. Route 66 came later. But by 1933, the year of Edward’s and Dora’s epic journey west to escape Hitler’s agents, both existed and were the primary means that Easterners used to drive west, either northwest or southwest.
Fleeing Hitler’s agents and Dora’s husband’s photographers, Edward and Dora begin their journey in a hurry in Manhattan at the Waldorf Astoria. Edward had just come off an ocean liner from England. Now under special orders from Winston Churchill, the back bencher for whom he works, he races west. He is trying to meet a rendezvous set up by Churchill to hand over the Lawrence maps that he has been hiding up his sleeve. He must hand them over before Hitler’s agents get hold of them. After all, they are the key to world domination.
When Churchill’s agent veers off course, Edward gets the word to proceed to Route 66. They are treated to the isolated high plains of Texas and the weird rock formations of northern New Mexico around Albuquerque and the Painted Desert in northern Arizona. They also stop at numerous auto courts and diners along the way that add to the local color of that famous road.
Old Faithful Plot, the next in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, will soon be published by Cheops Books LLC.
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Old motel sign along historic route 66.
Will You See Cheops Books In Tarragona This Summer?
See you in Tarragona is hardly what you hear most people saying about their plans for this summer especially if you hail from the USA. But if you happen to be hanging around Barcelona come summer and you are bored with the beach and looking for thrills and chills you might just see a van driving past with staff from Cheops Books headed toward the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tarragona and its fantastic Roman ruins. Here you don’t just have a building or two, you have a whole ruined city to behold. You can stand in the well-preserved amphitheater and gaze out to sea at the same time just as Romans did thousands of years ago from about 218BC onward through the Middle Ages.
A teenager back in the USA could be looking through the attic in her house and come upon a vase or piece of jewellery from this era and this town of Tarragona, Spain. She could start hearing voices and start seeing ghosts who talk about some cataclysmic event that occurred here a long time ago that haunts them and the heroine still. And this could become a young adult thriller for Edward Ware Thrillers YA.
Pliny the Elder could visit Tarragona on his madcap escape from the Germanic tribes who have his number because of his book, the Germania, criticizing their peoples and their cultural traditions. He could hide among the Spanish peoples forever. It could become a legend and legend only that he disappeared in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD in Vesuvius Plot, coming soon from Cheops Books, LLC, another book in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.
So don’t forget to enter the On The Road Again Contest sponsored by Cheops Books before May 1. Win the Amazon gift certificate and see you on the road.
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On The Road Again: Pompeii
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Come summer will you see Cheops Books LLC at the most famous archaeological excavation at Pompeii on the Amalfi Coast in Italy? Will you be there yourself?
Adolf Hitler came up with the idea that he wanted to change the timeline of history. He imagined that he found a time tunnel that led from volcano to volcano from the supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park in the United Sates all the way to Vesuvius looming over the Bay of Naples right next to Pompeii. He wanted to send his most trusted henchmen, Herr and Helga von Wessel, back in time to 79AD. They were to rouse up an ancient lynch mob from Germany who had followed the former Roman governor all the way to southern Italy where he kept a villa. The former governor had written a nasty track about Germans villifying them. Thus began a 2000 year old tradition of blaming Germans for everything which Hitler wanted to nip in the bud. That way history would be changed, Germans would become more powerful sooner, and the Germans would win World War 1.
Who was this governor? His name was Pliny the Elder, the author of the Natural History, the first encyclopedia, who also wrote the Germania. According to legend, he was supposedly killed when the volcano erupted, but Hitler was not taking any chances. And Hitler wanted to get hold of the manuscript of the Germania which Hitler did not want to survive the man’s assassination.
All this action takes place in Pompeii during the eruption of Vesuvius. So it would be a great place to join Pliny the Elder and all sorts of villains for the high point of the action in Vesuvius Plot, the next installment of Edward Ware Thrilers at War soon to be published by Cheops Books, LLC.
On The Road Again: The Tower of Hercules
Will you find Cheops Books LLC at the base of the Tower of Hercules in La Coruña, Spain this summer staring up at this Worl Heritage UNESCO site? It is the oldest working lighthouse in the world built in Roman times in the first century AD at the town the Romans considered to be at the end of the world. This was La Coruna Harbor in northwest Spain, the Roman Hispania. Many legends from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century attach to the tower that the Romans originally called the Farum Brigantium constructed on a 57 meter high rock.
The lighthouse would blend in perfectly with several novel series and plot ideas already being published by Cheops Books LLC. It could become part of the Edward Ware Thrillers YA novels series of young adult mysteries and thrillers. An eccentric but diabolical millionaire could move the lighthouse to the rugged coast of Maine and leave teenagers to wonder what is going on when they sight a skiff at sea that crashes against the lighthouse in the early dawn hours. They could try to figure out what curse is attached to the building for the past two thousand years.
The lighthouse would also be the perfect place for Pliny the Elder to visit. It was first built at about his time period. He could have something to do with its construction as he traveled about the Roman world studying birds, flora, and fauna for his encyclopedia series, The Natural History. Why would he make the trip by carriage and horseback far from Rome? Perhaps he wants to hide something there for future generations that he does not want to be found by the barbarians that are always trying to follow him about. Later in his own peregrinations Colonel Sir Edward Ware could find it.
And lastly Colonel Sir Edward Ware and Dora, Lady Ware, in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, could visit the lighthouse. It would be an ideal place to hide the Lawrence maps, key to world domination. Hitler would never guess that they were in a Roman lighthouse. Perhaps even Hitler’s spies, Helga von Wessel and Herr von Wessel, would not guess.
The Tower of Hercules is full of mystery and pregnant with possibilities. That is the kind of place that Cheops Books LLC likes to discover.
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Will Cheops Books LLC visit Tallinn, Estonia on the Baltic Sea Coast? Tallinn is not only the capital of Estonia but the cultural hub of the country. Certainly there is a lot to see from the Old Town with real cobblestones to a defensive tower to a Gothic town hall from the Middle Ages. St. Nicholas’s Church is from the 13th century. And all is right on the very northern sea.
If you are cruising that way this summer all the way to Tallinn, Estonia ad perhaps beyond to St. Petersburg, Russia itself, be sure to stop in. Will you see someone from Cheops Books, LLC? Wait and see . . .
Where will Cheops Books LLC find itself this coming summer? The contest to second guess the small press opened on February 1 and will run until May 1 when the winner will be announced. You could be the lucky guesser to find yourself with a $25.00 gift certificate for amazon.com. On your summer travels you could use it to stock up on beach reading on Kindle. So please write in using the CONTACT form at http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org.
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Don’t forget to send in your picks for where Cheops Books LLC should travel during the summer of 2017 in pursuit of settings for its thriller novels both Edward Ware Thrillers YA and Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Use the CONTACT form on the website: http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org. Send us a picture. Send us a photo. Just send us a description. But give us your best guess for On The Road Again.
Will it be the Petrified Forest in Northern Arizona where logs are thousands of years old? Will it be Yellowstone to watch the geyser blow its lid? Will it be Hamlet’s Castle in Denmark? Or will it be the sands of the Sahara in Egypt? Will you see us in the Amazon jungle? Or will it be at the South Pole? Let us know where you think you will find us On The Road Again.
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On the Road Again Contest: February 1-May 1:
Cheops Books LLC plans to be on the road again this summer researching settings for novels. Where will we go? Where will you go? Where do you think we should go? Cheops Books will set up a page under Cheops Books Adventures about the contest that will be viewable starting no later than February 1. We will showcase photos of tempting locales where we might be spotted come June. Write us your answers about where you think we should go and why and where you intend to go. Make sure that they are no longer than 300 words and make sure to include your email address, using the Contact US form. We will post all responses on the website and have a drawing on May 1 for a winner. The winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon gift certificate to stock up on Kindle reading material no matter where you vacation this summer or where you find yourself on the road again.
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