Wednesday, August 24, 2011

History, Genealogy and Historical Fiction: or How to find a Huguenot in a Papist’s Attic

It’s been about a week since I created this Blog and made my first post. During that time I have been busy tweaking widgets and adding content. I have been thinking of a way to make this blog more than just a depository for my Family History. To that end, I decided to add another perspective to this blog. That being my interest in History and reading Historical Fiction.
I have added a link to my ‘Book Shelf’ on ‘Goodreads’. Goodreads is the largest social network for readers in the world. They have more than 5,500,000 members who have added more than 170,000,000 books to their shelves. Goodreads members recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they've read and would like to read, form book clubs and much more. Goodreads was launched in December 2006.  I have also added  a ‘Book Montage’ showing the covers of my favorite books.
This is how I see this working. In my first two posts, ‘Mélançon / Melanson: Evidence Presentation and Overview of Surname Origin History’ and ‘The Military Roots of the 'dit' Name’, I note that Jacques Brisset 1595-1629, and Pierre MELANSON dit LAVERDURE  1590-1676 , both my 8th GGrandfathers through Joseph Hector Euclide Courchesne, were Calvinist Huguenots.  While researching French Huguenots I came across the name of ‘ Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu’

  • As an advocate for Samuel de Champlain and of the retention of Quebec, he founded the Compagnie des Cent-Associés and saw the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye return Quebec City to French rule under Champlain, after the settlement had been captured by the Kirkes in 1629. His actions insure that New France (Canada) will be a future refuge for my ancestors.
  • The Huguenots, one of the largest political and religious factions in France, controlled a significant military force, and were in rebellion.[31] Moreover, the King of England, Charles I, declared war on France in an attempt to aid the Huguenot faction. In 1627, Richelieu ordered the army to besiege the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle; the Cardinal personally commanded the besieging troops.[32]English troops under the Duke of Buckingham led an expedition to help the citizens of La Rochelle, but failed abysmally. Richelieu's actions drive my French ancestors out of France to England in 1628 and to present day Canada in 1654, 1657 and 1662.
  • Charles the 1st of England’s reign will be permeated by Religious conflicts. This is caused by his failure to successfully aid Protestant forces during the Thirty Years' War, coupled with such actions as marrying Henrietta Maria of France. (It is suggested that Cardinal Richelieu was behind this, being one of his first acts as King Louis XIII’s principal minister in 1624.) She was the sister of Louis XIII and the paternal aunt of Louis XIV of France. Her Catholic religion made her unpopular in England, and also prohibited her from being crowned in an Anglican service; therefore she never had a coronation. Charles' last years were marked by the English Civil War’s, in which he fought the forces of the English and Scottish Parliaments. Charles was subsequently captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high treason. The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England, was declared. This manifests it self in the deposing of James II and VII in 1688 when he was replaced by his daughter Mary II jointly with her husband and first cousin William III of Orange. If you have any Irish blood in you, you know what he did to Ireland. This will lead to Jacobitism, the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland. William III's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is commemorated by the Orange Institution in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland to this day. Huguenot troops fought for William at the Boyne. This ultimately resulted in the emigration to the USA of the Irish families on my fathers side. 
    So, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu had a big influence on who and where my family is today.

    The question is, for the time period and events mentioned above, What Historical Novel will fill me in on the way people lived during this period in history?
    I picked;
    The Three Musketeers  a novel by Alexandre Dumas

    As a note, I found this book, for my E-reader, for free, at ‘GOOGLE books’. It is a scan of one of the original 1878 copies, with the original sketches.
    A Reading pertaining to the period of Jacobitism in England would be ; 
    A Spectacle of Corruption  by David Liss

    If you know of another book, please leave a comment.
    Visit ‘goodreads’ and leave a review of my choice or to find reviews of your choice.

    Back to my Method:
    • Through Genealogy we discover a few of my Ancestors.
    • We explore the History of the time these Ancestors lived.
    •  We put our self in that time, and learn how they might have lived by reading a work of Historical Fiction.
    Which person in History had the greatest affect on your ancestors?


    Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

    Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

    T.T. McQuaid said...

    Thank you for the warm welcome. I need all the encouragement I can get.

    Anonymous said...

    Welcome to the genealogy blogging community!! Good luck with your blog :-)


    TCasteel said...

    3 Musketeers brings back memories as one of the first 'library' books I ever read. I followed that one with other Dumas books and so began my love for reading!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

    Heather Rojo said...

    Welcome to the community of GeneaBloggers, and I can't believe you are right here in Londonderry. I just had a gathering of genealogists and bloggers here at the end of August, on the eve of Hurricane Irene. We'll be sure to include you in any future gatherings. I hope to run into you at the library, or perhaps the Historical Society?