I’ve learned from editing Bubbles in the Cauldron, the historical novel set in the Scottish uprising of 1820, that trying to follow the historical detail makes doing the story difficult unless the protagonists are well known historical figures pulling the strings. That means the Navy stories set in the Stuart period must be suggested by history but not ruled by it. In other words, the story needs to be more important than the historical detail. The episode I mentioned of the shelling of Eilean Donan castle in 1719 is a fine example. The historical detail is vague. The characters involved can be created and their reactions imagined. The following Battle of Glen Shiel can likewise be manipulated, not in outcome, but in characters and detail to make the story real. It is even possible to have one of the Spanish invaders captured and volunteer to join the Navy, which would lead him to be in the revenge attack on Viga. It requires some imagination to create a character who would do that believably but that’s the writer’s job. It might even be a Scot who was a Jacobite until he realised the Jacobite plan was not really for Scotland but the whole United Kingdom and would result in power remaining in London at the end of the day.
There is some detail in a History of England by the Scottish author Tobias Smollett which will be worth looking into but it’s in an eleven volume series, and which volume I don’t know, so I want to try places like the British Library, when it opens.
I like the look of this.
1719