Diary of Bedlam

I updated my About Me page today to include a brief description of my novel:

I am a writer currently working on my first novel.  The working title is Diary of Bedlam and it is a mystery based on the real-life unsolved murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey.  Set in 1678 London, it faithfully describes one of the darkest periods of political turmoil to occur during the reign of Charles II:  the popish plot.

I didn't set out to write a novel about the popish plot.  When I first read about the murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey I was enthralled by the mystery but I just wanted to write a novel–not a treatise on the politics of the time.  Unfortunately, the Popish Plot and Sir Edmund's murder are irrevocably intertwined.  Indeed, to a large extent, one would not have happened without the other.  The conspiracy was already brewing when Sir Edmund's corpse was found in a ditch at the bottom of Primrose Hill, but the kettle had already boiled and the coffee was cooling.  Sir Edmund's death gave new life to the popish plot and set off a frenzy of rumors, lies, and suspicion in London.  The city became crazy with fear–a sort of Bedlam.

As often happens to writers, I could not let go of this story.  It touches upon another theme that is important to me:  religious discrimination and its role in government and politics.  I had found the story I was born to write.

Holly West

3 Comments

  1. “The conspiracy was already brewing when Sir Edmund’s corpse was found in a ditch at the bottom of Primrose Hill, but the kettle had already boiled and the coffee was cooling.”
    —I love this part. It excites me. Great post. Thanks.

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