A Remote Yet Relevant Time

Edinburgh, Scotland. medieval history,
Edinburgh Castle overlooking the Firth of Forth

Today’s readers need their literature to be relevant, and rightly so! I am often asked why did I choose such a seemingly remote time and place for a story. And the answer is fairly simple…. because the story  is relevant to present times. History may not be repeating itself, but there are definite echoes of civilization needing to relearn lessons under different circumstances. Maybe in a different place and time, but another opportunity for humanity to get it right… Kinda like that Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day.”

Medieval history is deliciously rich and harkens back to roots for many of us. I chose the year 1296 because it was pivotal year for Scotland, when her sovereignty was seriously challenged by England. Like all historic events, this did not happen in a vacuum. Scottish crown had been rendered ineffective due to infighting among nobles who fancied themselves contenders to the throne. The church hierarchy aligned themselves with the English crown.

Scotland was not some backwater country as some historians have led us to believe, but an ally of kingdoms on the continent which were prone to mysticism through their Celtic ways. No wonder the Roman church allied with England. Scots were independent thinkers on many levels. They didn’t always make the wisest choices, but human nature has not changed that much over time.

The transition from 13th into the 14th century was a time of great progress for civilization as a whole. But it was also rife with instabilities and warning signs of the collapse of successful institutions. The fall of the Templars was only part of a greater story, which I pieced together over 20 years of explorations and distilled into The Häling and the Scottish Templars

Book One in the The Temple Chronicles series is chocked full of trivia, people places and unfolding dynamics… ie context of the story being told. This is more than  just a story. It is an immersive experience in the life of the Dalrymple family of Scotland at the dawn of the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Here are some of the parallels between the turn 14th century and early 21st century….

  • Technological advances that challenge the status quo
    • Optics & Light
    • Agricultural progress made by Cistercians
    • Weaponry ~ siege machines ~ trebuchet
  • Crisis of faith
    • loss of the Holy Land
    • papacy schism in Avignon
    • Flowering of mysticism
      • Kabbalah
      • Grail legends
      • Sufis
      • Saints
      • Cathars
  • Rapidly expanding economies
    • Rise of the merchant class over land and sea trade
    • Markets surrounding Cathedral and Abbey towns.
  • Revolts
    • Magna Carta
    • Peasants Revolt
    • Burgundians
  • Global Natural disasters
  • Widespread warfare
  • Pandemic diseases
  • Shifts in weather patterns
  • Famine
  • Severe losses and hostile seizures of cities, kingdoms and treasures
  • Architecture – Massive building projects of cathedrals, fortresses,