My novel, "Legend of the Mystic Knights" , is an alternate reality version of ours. An evil has taken over the world, so powerful that civilization has been stuck in the medieval period for the last 1,000 years. As a result of this, what we perceive today is no longer valid, this does not only go for our technology but also to famous people everyone is familiar with.
In my last blog, I had described famous killers, who in the alternate reality of my novel are described as vampires or other creatures. This time I am going to feature famous heroes described in my novel. As with the famous criminals, these heroes are not featured characters, but are mentioned or referenced in classes taught to the pages and squires.
Leonardo Di Vinci- In reality, a painter, sculptor, and inventor, he is considered an example of a renaissance man, but in my novel, he is Italy’s most famous werewolf hunter.
Bram Stoker- We all familiar with him as being the author of “Dracula”, but to me he is an Irish knight who did a scientific study of vampires, specifically on how to locate and destroy vampires.
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)_- Enlightened French philosopher. In my alternate reality, he wrote about how vampires use their influence for political gains.
Jack O’Connor – Many of you might not be familiar with him. I grew up in a rural area, and am an avid hunter and fisherman. As a kid I often read the magazine “Outdoor Life”. Many of these articles I read were written by Jack O’Connor. Of course in “Legend of the Mystic Knights”, he wrote about how to tack and hunt werewolves.
Olaus Magnus – Bishop Olaus Magnus, actually wrote a treatise “History of the Goths, Swedes and Vandels” in 1555 A.D. and described the loss of livestock caused by werewolves in that area. I really did not need to adjust his past history.
Petronius – A Roman writer who once wrote a story about lycanthropy.
Chaney and Eisler – I referenced these two as if they collaborated on a scientific study. In fact I am referencing Long Chaney Jr. who played in the “The Wolf Man” (1941), and also a much underrated actor. Robert Eisler was indeed an archeologist and anthropologist famous for his 1949 work: “Man into Wolf; An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism and Lycanthropy.”
Trotula- I do a lot of artistic license with her, instead of just referencing her; I used her as a character. She is a surgeon in my novel, and performs an amputation on one of the knights. In reality, Trota of Salerno lived in the 12th century (I moved her up a few centuries for my novel), and indeed she was a medical practitioner and medical writer in Italy. Trotula is a name associated with her, but also is referencing medical books, some of which may have been written by her, the others just associated with her over time.
Rudyard Kipling- I really barely mention him, but I have always been a huge fan of his writings, and wanted to include him in my novel. In Rikki-Tikki-Tavy, he writes “a full stomach makes a slow mongoose.” In my novel the phrase is now, “A full stomach makes a slow knight” Remember, in a world overrun by evil, all humankind’s energies and creations are focused on removing that evil, Rikki-Tikki-Tavey was never existed, instead a story of a knight fighting evil had been written instead.
I hope you have enjoyed some of the revisionist alternate history I did with some of the famous people. As with the “human monsters” in my novel, they are not characters but are referenced, in this way I remind the reader periodically that the past has changed and the world is now different.
A reminder that this week is Veterans Day in the United States, and other places around the world it is a time to honor those who served their countries. Recognize real heroes by thanking a veteran for their service, and do not forget the sacrifices that they have made to us. Remember, all gave some; some gave all.
Next time: I think I am going to recap about the location of Switzerland in my novel.