An important character got introduced in this chapter, Francis Walsingham., the shadow of Elizabeth I He is historically one of the greatest spymasters of all time, creating an international spy network that outmatched all of England's opponents and protected its Queen. He was fanatically loyal to Elizabeth. Modern intelligence agencies, UK's MI5, Israel's Mossad, US' CIA, China's MIS, and Russia's FSB all use techniques that Walsingham employed in the 16th century in a concerted foreign policy with Queen Elizabeth.
While strictly heterosexual and devout Protestant in history, there were more than a few rumors about sexual liaisons with Elizabeth. My alternate history/medieval fantasy direction for him is different, but take important hints from history.
Fair folk/fairy legends were around for a long time in Europe, but they first became quite popular during this time, when folklore about demi-spirits began to grow into stories. There are even some myths of fairies, which became immersed with Elvish lore, i.e. Tolkien's nature loving long haired Elves share traits with classic fairies. As for coven, if I am doing medieval fantasy I am not going to leave out witches, especially with the subject matter of this novel and the protagonist's feelings on gender equality.
However, be forewarned, magic isn't what you think it is, at least in my universe.
This also marks the first time I am introducing an important phrase in my novel, "The last shall be the first", it comes from the Bible in the Book of Matthew to denote the devout Christian reward of eternal paradise if you follow Jesus. (I might be a heretic, but I know the Bible probably better than most homophobes). I reclaimed that phrase with a different meaning, some literalist will find it cute. Next chapter you will understand why I chose that phrase to symbolize an ideal.
The 14th law of Power according to Robert Greene, "Pose as a friend, Work as a spy” is basically what Francis did in this chapter. You will find out that his recent stay with his uncle was not random chance, but preplanned, due to intelligence. Francis had to get close to his uncle, gain his trust by bullying Eli, and prepare for their escape. The law teaches people that confidence in an ally gained through impression is not always accurate, while those seeking knowledge will employ various means to get what they want, even if it might be counter-intuitive. Eli understood what Francis instantly upon reflection as a result. Those who know the spy longer than the target will understand the reasons for certain actions upon discovering their identity.
1. Yes, in history, Francis Walsingham was the nephew of Sir Anthony Denny, who was Elizabeth Guardian after Thomas Seymore. My guess is that Elizabeth and Francis probably used that connection to build up their friendship and eventual spymaster/queen relationship.
2. There are ripple effects from killing the entire Denny family, but history is still going along similar path.
3. Plato's real name was Aristocles and his boyfriend/wrestling teacher did give him the name Plato, meaning broad. Some people think it's about his body shape, but from a gay male's perspective, I take it to mean something else. Plato was supposedly a great wrestler, which meant he pinned his teacher more often than not However, Medieval England's level of literacy and education in the 16th century was nowhere near the point to identify these facts by Latin and Greek literate.
Edited by W_L