Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quaker House, part 1

Had a good day at the Friends Historical Library in Dublin. They had me sign a copy of my book, which I brought them, and they seemed to enjoy the articles about my last trip. (See Part I and Part II.) I have so many questions, mysteries to solve, but I decided to take the methodical approach, especially since the meeting minutes are not indexed (we talked about that as a future project). I made it through the first section, about 125 pages.

Fiction writing gurus are always saying to add conflict to your story. To keep my novel flowing, I added a conflict between Ann English and her future husband's family - totally fiction. As a matter of fact, I haven't yet figured out how they work through that problem and end up married. Well, today I found out that the real-life Ann English and Benjamin Parvin got a letter of condemnation from the meeting for starting their marriage proceedings without the consent of his parents!

One mystery still unsolved: whatever happened to John English's widow, Elinor? In my novel (subject to change) I have the Clibborns take his children in, their niece and nephew. Today we looked on a new database and could not find any record of Elinor (the children's stepmother) remarrying, or even of her death. So far, she has simply disappeared.

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