"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tower of London

Backtracking to last week, and the day at the Tower.

Near the Tower stands a remnant of the city wall built by the Romans.

The Tower isn't only one tower, but many of them.

Never let it be said that the Historic Royal Palaces organisation hasn't a sense of humour.

Tower Hill, the site for many a beheading, as it looks today.

Tower Hill, looking in the other direction, on the occasion of the Duke of Monmouth's beheading, with the White Tower in the background.

This grisly scene appears in my novel. It's the most gruesome execution in English history. Jack Ketch struck five blows and still couldn't decapitate the poor duke, and had to finish him off with a knife.

There's an ice skating rink in the moat. Here's the zamboni preparing the surface.

One of the famous Tower ravens.

Is the legend of the ravens really true?

Traitors Gate, from inside the Tower walls.

A character in my novel was twice incarcerated in the Tower, accused of plotting against Cromwell. It's part of his backstory. He might have stayed in a room similar to this, occupied by Sir Walter Raleigh.

The White Tower.

Tower Green, where the well-connected traitors were executed. Only nine persons died in this spot.

This, I imagine, was their final view before being blindfolded.

Traitors Drinking Fountain.

When I visited the Jewel House, I was viewing it through the eyes of a novelist who must describe various coronations in the course of her book. I was delighted to see the Sword of State and its scabbard, carried in coronation ceremonies by the aforementioned incarcerated noblemen, and the crowns worn by Queens Mary of Modena and Mary II, and their regalia. I'm grateful to HRP for the large colour postcards of same, available in the Jewel House shop!

In the Armoury, many weapons and war-like items are on display.

Here's the armour worn by William III.

Testing the weight of a 17th century musket.

Wonder if his gun is as heavy?

Tower Bridge.

After crossing it on foot, we encountered the Queen.

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