The search for the truth about three Victorian families whose fates were intertwined.
Argue if you like.
The research for this story uncovered untruths and misconceptions recorded as history. This site invites counter arguments.
I hope that as I write a certain ancestor is not narrowing her eyes at my back as I emblazon the family's worst - and best kept - secret across my work.
I hope I will be forgiven. To search for the truth is so fundamentally human : "What's going on?" "What happened?" ... No ... what really happened? It's the same drive whether it's detective fiction, gossip, or scientific research. But when it comes to the truth about your own identity or your place in the world it can become an obsession.
The search began by accident. My sister phoned from Canada and asked me to look something up as I was in England at the time. What I found was not what was expected, and a story began to unravel.
Most of the main characters were already known to us before the search was begun, but known just as great grandparents, great uncles or aunts.
The search on the other hand discovered soldiers, sailors, blacksmiths, a waif and an heiress. And - most importantly - histories that had been wrongly recorded and that could be disproven, and histories - like so many, and no less important - that had never been recorded at all.
And so this book. The search itself is a fictionalised version of the truth - mainly to protect the privacy of living members of the family.
The narrator is the searcher, and all of her family and her story are made up. But the history that was found is stated as it was found. There are sources for every shred of information. The reader at all times knows whether they are reading historical fact or speculation, or that imagination is being used to bring a scene to life.
So what reads like fact is actually fiction, and the story that reads like a historical romance is true.
But one must as always be careful when reading any history, of what may be suggested even if not stated.
I have written what I found. But if you find anything different - gossip or gospel - just click on the link and send me an email. List your sources, state your case. If what you know reshapes this story, who am I to say my version is any better than yours? I'll put it here for all to read.
© M M McKenna 2020