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The Deepest Source of Destiny



This is the third of four blogs about destiny. The first and second can be found here.

There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.

Friedrich Schiller


Authors are becoming accustomed to promoting their own wares. We're encouraged, even compelled, to hitch a ride on the latest gravy train and exploit every trend connected with our books; the location, what's in the news, what chimes with the destinies of the fast and the famous. Spin-offs abound. Stunts may be marvelled at for their ingenuity. Some of it is amusing, some of it illuminating, much of it spurious. It's almost become superstition, as if we hope a little of the stardust will rub off on our ventures and they will be carried along on the prevailing current, never mind the quantities of flotsam and that it is in full spate.

The Jane Austen connection is one of the most powerful to excite interest in recent years and I have to admit I've used it to puff my early second novel, My Mother Bids Me, which is set in the Regency era and is woven in with the events leading up to the Battle of Waterloo. The book is a portrait of Jane Austen's England.

The odd thing is that Jane Austen wasn't particularly successful in her own lifetime and it's rather sobering to think that we might only be appreciated long after we're earthly dust. Yet it must be a sign of destiny when some spark is caught way after the fact and fanned into a conflagration.

I don't know what to think about the newly discovered drawing purported to be of Jane Austen. The jury's still out, but I do note that the academic most convinced that it is of the author has publicised her views to coincide with a new biography.

I had to smile, too, at the time of the Royal Wedding last year, when it was claimed that Catherine Middleton's ancestry was linked to Jane Austen. Wasn't marrying an heir to the throne kudos enough?

Now Tom Fowle, who was engaged to Jane's sister, Cassandra, is mentioned in Book One of the Berkeley Trilogy. This gentleman was educated by the Revd George Austen, the girls' father, and was chaplain to Lord Craven, the 5th Earl of Berkeley's nephew, when he set sail for the West Indies with his patron, contracted yellow fever and tragically died. In the film Becoming Jane, they changed his name to Robert for fear of confusion with the lawyer, Tom Lefroy, whom Jane was attached to at that period. The family was known to the nefarious cleric, Hupsman, who officiated at the fake marriage between Lord Berkeley and Mary Cole. His mother had been governess to Berkeley's sister, Lady Craven, later Margravine of Anspach.

Mary Cole is not in my genealogical tree, nor my late husband's, but I sometimes do feel a frisson that my full name incorporates hers, a name which I didn't own when I discovered her. Also, as mentioned elsewhere, my first, ultra-youthful, attempt at writing historical fiction, aged 13, did feature a heroine called Kate Barclay (the shades weren't fully on my wavelength in those days!).

I wonder what mileage there'd be in revealing that my maternal line lived a few miles from Steventon Rectory where Jane Austen was born, and Chawton House where the family moved, now the Jane Austen's House Museum?

Whether any of this ranks as destiny is dubious. But shall I tell you something really amazing? For The Wolf and The Lamb, I researched the forebears of the second husband of one of Mary Cole's sisters who came to figure significantly in southern American history of the early 19th century. It transpires that that line coincides exactly with the ancestry of a Red Room colleague with whom, unbeknownst, I have formed a warm friendship.

What are the chances? The Swiss psychologist, Jung, might call it synchronicity, Douglas Adams would call it 'the fundamental interconnectedness of all things', John Guare might put it down to 'six degrees of separation'...

To me, it's pretty mind-blowing!

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http://www.newevepublishing.com

Biography

bio

Rosy Cole was born and educated in the Shires of England. She has been a professional writer for thirty years and has worked as a Press Officer and Publisher's Reader. She is a member of the Society of Authors, the Historical Novel Society, the Poetry Society and redroom.com

Among widespread interests, she lists history, opera, musicals, the arts, vegetarian cookery, drawing and painting, gemmology and homoeopathy. Theology also is an abiding interest. As a singer, she has performed alongside many renowned musicians in theatres, churches and concert venues throughout England and Italy and, in 1992, was selected to join the BBC Rome Pilgrimage Choir in a series of broadcasts for Pentecost Week which included an occasion inside the Vatican when she was privileged to meet Pope John Paul II. In addition, she has run a music agency specialising in themed 'words-and-music' programmes, bringing her two greatest passions together.

Material for the Berkeley Series has been gathered over a long period and has spookily coincided with Rosy's researches into her own family tree which have revealed several generations of ancestors a stone's throw from Berkeley Castle! No connection has yet been established with the characters in Mary Cole's story, but those forebears would almost certainly have known her.

Rosy's first book of poetry, The Twain, Poems of Earth and Ether, was published in April 2012, National Poetry Month, and another collection is in preparation. The Second Book in the Berkeley Series is due for publication in spring, 2014. She has also written under the pseudonym, Marion Grace.

Rosy lives in West Sussex with her son, Chris, and her black Springador, Jack, who keeps a firm paw on the work-and-walkies schedule! More Biography