It is at the point where Clementina Walkinshaw from Glasgow joins Prince Charles Edward Stuart in France that I lose interest in writing the story. Charles beat Clementina, using her as a “Submissive whipping post”. I could write about wife beating and family abuse as a journalist, a spectators report telling how disgusted it made me feel, but to write being beaten in character as Clementina would depress me. I could not know, nor do I want to explore, what would motivate me to hit a woman in anything but an extremity self defence, nor do I wish to explore how it feels as a woman to be beaten by someone you love. When I was a boy at junior school, we were playing Tag and I caught a girl who turned and gave me such a look that, from the shock of it, I have needed to be considerably provoked to become even aggressive with a female for well nigh eighty years. Back to Clementina, she became pregnant and one can only imaging in what circumstances that took place. The child was a girl and, in character, despite living as man and wife with Clementina for eight years, Charlie refused to make it legitimate. Nevertheless, the daughter, Charlotte, adored her father and left her son and two daughters in the care of their grandmother, Clementina, in order to nurse the disgusting dissolute alcoholic, who had contributed nothing but the slaughter of Culloden to humanity, through his last years before dying herself two years later. From what I have discovered of her, the children would have enjoyed a full measure of love from their grandmother.
Clementina’s grandson, after life as a Russian general and visiting India and America, died following a coach accident in Stirling and his remains lie in Dunkeld Cathedral. Having found his story, I am using it to give a backstory in the novel, Bubbles in the Cauldron, set in the another uprising, that of 1820, I am busy with.
One of my reasons for avoiding writing about abuse in character is the memory of how we reacted to the violence in the old gangster movies. The goodie always won but I’m sure there were some sadists who enjoyed and were even motivated to imitate the tortures and violence the ‘baddies’ perpetrated. The way in which paedophiles search for pornography inclines me to think it motivates such behavior and I have no wish to encourage abusive behavior.

Shadows in the heather