Dora And Edward Should Book A Mediterranean Cruise in 2018:
One year from today on Friday, June 8, 2018 the Queen Victoria sets out on a 14-night Mediterranean cruise that should interest Dora and Edward Ware with all their connections all over Europe. What is better the cruise embarks in Southampton and returns them to Southampton at the end of the cruise so they can easily drive right back to Ware Hall in the south of England or they can drive into London and take up residence at the Savoy at their apartment. The following ports of call are on the itinerary of Mediterranean Highlights: Oporto, Barcelona, Port Mahon, Ajaccio, Citavecchia, Cagliari, and Gibraltar.
Ajaccio should interest them. That is the place on the island of Corsica where Napoleon was born. There is a statue of the Emperor there as well as a house that was in the Bonaparte family until the 1920s. Edward’s great-grandfather served under Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo in the upcoming Cheops Books LLC historical thriller, Inn at the Crossroads.
Citavecchia is the port of Rome. Edward has a big chase scene through all sorts of Italian formal gardens in the historical thriller, Map Plot. He could take a shore excursion to Hadrian’s Villa or the Villa de Este with all its waterfalls.
And finally Gibraltar would always be of interest. In the historical thriller soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC, Hitler’s Agent, Dora and Edward pay a visit to the island of Gibraltar to refuel their yacht. They need to get back to Paris to meet with Winston Churchill at the Ritz Hotel. Dora enlists some local apes to help escape from Hitler and his agents.
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Gunboat Diplomacy: Franco and Gibraltar
Here is your answer to a lot of things. This may even answer what my aunt remembered about Franco in 1972. I get the chills when I hear in the news that Spain sent a gunboat into your territorial waters near Gibraltar. You say it has been going on every five years for the past 300 years. No American would permit such an intrusion. Here it would be considered suspicious and odd that a country like Spain would even remember Gibraltar for 300 years let alone act on it. It would get everybody stirred up on this side of the Atlantic, and the population here would demand it be stopped. In Britain you say it does not mean anything to you. Your nerves have gotten used to more violence, more intrusions, more gunboats, more soldiers, more air force planes, more shooting, more everything that has to do with war. To us here in the US the gunboat in Gibraltar’s waters seems to spell real trouble in the future. The Spanish are not to be trusted. I bet you anything that when the Brits were staying in Madrid during the time period of Franco, too, they saw soldiers in the streets, they noticed that the soldiers were trying to keep them isolated from the other Spanish citizens, and they had a hard time coming and going as they wished. The difference is that Brits and Europeans in general think nothing of this sort of behavior. They may even prefer it in fact because it brings peace and order to the capital city of Spain under the Fascist Dictator Franco, and we all remember that the Brits were willing to make another deal with another Fascist Dictator. It was the same thing in 1968 with De Gaulle and I’m sure it was the same thing in Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler. What even western Europeans may think odd is what my aunt experienced in Athens in 1973 with soldiers in the street. But here things were so disorderly that even the local population was not listening to the soldiers. And terrorists were sneaking into the Athens Airport. In fact, they did not even have to sneak. They could just walk right in because there were no guards on duty at all. Employees of any kind were hard to find in the Athens Airport in those days which is why only weeks later Americans really were massacred there. When you say that “gunboats are part of the drama” in Gibraltar, I know I am onto a real difference between Americans and Europeans.
Mr. Benley in Key to Lawrence: Special Edition is always lecturing his daughter, Dora Benley, about her fiance, Edward Ware, the British lord. Winthrop Benley is the quintessential successful Robber Baron type who berates the Old World for starting World War. Later it would be World War 2. Americans are still having a hard time getting used to this sort of thing. Even the terrorists come from the Old World. Certainly Franco did.
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Infanta Christina and Edward Ware:
Apparently a Spanish patrol vessel, the Infanta Christina, has been accused of trespassing in Gibraltar’s waters. This was just one day after Madrid called on Britain to “calm down” about rising tensions concerning the future ownership of the Gibraltar territory. The Infanta Christina entered the territory’s waters at around lunch time Gibraltar time on Tuesday. Gibraltar’s government called the intrusion an “illegal incursion”. The Royal Navy’s HMS Scimitar challenged the vessel. The Infanta Christina finally left. This incident came only a day after Spain’s Foreign Minister was talking about negotiations about Gibraltar’s future with the British government. This all followed remarks from a former Conservative leader, Lord Howard, that England would be willing to go to war over Gibraltar to protect the Rock just like Margaret Thatcher did in the Falklands.
This all occurred after the EU documented said that Spain would be given a veto on post-Brexit agreements concerning the overseas territory called Gibraltar. Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader, said the EU had made “an absolutely catastrophic error” and “Britain would not be bullied or intimidated”. He said on his nightly TV show on LBC: “We are not some little nation that is going to get bullied around by overpaid, unelected bureaucrats. We will simply not put up with it.” He was no doubt referring to the politicians in Brussels whose houses we saw two years ago on our trip to Waterloo.
A spokesman for the Gibraltar government said on Tuesday: “This is a timely demonstration of the way Spain routinely conducts itself in breach of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is almost as if Lord Howard has unnerved someone senior in the Spanish Navy.”
I don’t know if all this news about Gibraltar makes Britain look stupid across Europe as you say. I think it makes Spain look out of control and untrustworthy. It also reminds me that Britain is not really part of the Continent. Edward Ware, the hero of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, would certainly approve of Brexit. If there was a war against Spain, he would certainly be fighting in it.
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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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Apes of Gibraltar Play Part In Edward Ware Thrillers
The infamous apes of Gibraltar that live on the rocks outside town and have done so for hundreds of years play an unexpected role in the Edward War Thrillers at War Series. Dora and Edward are at their wits’ end trying to escape Hitler and his spies, Herr and Helga von Wessel. They have been trapped in Germany, have just recently rescued their little girl from the clutches of the Dictator, and are trying to escape from the Continent all together. They charter a yacht and end up in Gibraltar where Dora gets a bright idea about the apes and what they can do for Churchill and the cause of fighting Hitler.
This is part of the world wide chase over the Lawrence maps, key to world domination. Hitler wants them. Edward and Churchill have them. And the contest goes on. What can the apes of Gibraltar, Barbary Apes, or Barbary macaques, have to do with the Lawrence maps? Read the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series and find out soon.
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