(~1476-~1525 our history)
Lambert Simnel was one of the Yorkist pretenders who challenged Henry VII after Richard's death. Simnel was a young tradesman with a resemblance to the Plantagenet family. He was trained up by an Oxford priest to claim to be Richard of Salisbury. A last-minute change of plan put him instead as Edward, Earl of Warwick, the son of George, Duke of Clarence. (Edward had spent Henry VII's reign imprisoned in the Tower, but a rumor was circulating that he had escaped, making him a halfway plausible candidate for impersonation.)
Simnel was picked up by the Yorkist partisans living in exile: Margaret of York (a sister of Kings Edward and Richard -- see p176), and others including John de la Pole and Francis Lovell. They decided he was as good a figurehead as any; they proclaimed him "King Edward VI," and Simnel's army attacked Henry in 1487. They were roundly defeated. De la Pole was killed; Lovell vanished; Simnel was pardoned (having never been more than a puppet) and wound up a servant in Henry's castle.
The name is descriptive: "Quentin the cauldron-worker." Except that "chaudron" is also (archaic) English for "entrails," which gives a somewhat more sinister cast to his alchemy.
Artist, engineer, genius.
Fourth rank of the Mithraic mystery cult. (Latin: Leo)
A Welsh town. Home of Mary Setright.
(1449-1477 Dragon history; 1449-1492 our history)
His badge as a Medici is the palle, six red balls.
In Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" books, the ruler of Ankh-Morpork is named "Vetinari," as a mild play on "Medici."
Called "Saint Louis." He was devoted to the Church, and led two Crusades, as well as legislating against the Jews. Louis was canonized in 1297.
Called "Louis the Good."
Louis spent his reign strengthening France, weakening his rival Burgundy, and keeping the English (under Edward) out of his kingdom. He died in 1483.
Louis rules only the neutral provinces Anjou and Touraine, between the occupying powers of England and Byzantium.
(1454-~1470 Dragon history; 1454-1487 our history)
Childhood friend of Richard Duke of Gloucester.
Francis Lovell remained Richard's close friend and supporter throughout his life. He served as a captain under Richard in Scotland, and was promoted to Chamberlain as soon as Richard became King. He aided Richard against Buckingham and against Henry Tydder. (See p352, p366.)
After Richard's death, Lovell organized an uprising in Yorkshire (1486), and later took part in the Yorkist uprising of Lambert Simnel (1487). That failed at Stoke Field, and Lovell vanished from sight.
(Lovell's death date comes from comments on p277. He died a year or two after joining the Mithraic cult; and we know that Dimi, who was eager to join as early as possible, did so at the age of fourteen.)
Brother of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza. Called "Ludovico the Moor."
Ludovico acts as the Duke's master of intelligence (see p70). After Sforza's death, he controls Milan.
A white horse owned by Dimitrios Ducas (as a boy).
Magic in TDW follows common principles, if not laws.
Latent magical talent can be catalyzed by the proximity of an active wizard. (Perhaps it always is? Perhaps all wizards come into power this way?)
For nearly every wizard, every act of magic takes a permanent toll on the caster's life. Too much magic will kill the caster, slowly or quickly. And the effects are deleterious to the subject as well, even when the caster's intent is beneficial.
Illusions are the most common magics seen in TDW, which implies that they are the easiest form of magic.
Magic is not a strong force in itself. To be effective, a wizard must apply his energy at the right moment, in the right way. Magic takes patience.
The use of magic cannot be hidden from other wizards. The talent may be perceivable even when not in use.
The capacity for magic seems to be inherited.
A dying wizard can curse his killers.
We can very roughly estimate that at least one person in a million is a wizard. See p239.
(See the list of wizards in TDW.)
(~1435-1480 Dragon history; ~1435-~1515 our history)
Mancini was a visitor in London in 1483, when Richard took the throne. His report on the events (written to Angelo Cato in France) was discovered in 1934.
A Byzantine Emperor.
During his reign, Manuel struggled energetically to expand the Empire with both alliances and military campaigns: with Islamic Egypt, the Turks, the Church of Rome, the Crusader kingdoms in the Holy Land.
Married to Henry VI of England.
Margaret provided much of the will behind Henry's military campaigns, and his reacquisition of the throne in 1470-1471.
Roman god of war.
A Welsh wizard and healer. A Jeshite.
His name is more commonly spelled "Maximinus." It is possible that Ford used "Maximin" as a play on the game theory notion of "maximin" (synonymously called "minimax"), which is the basic algorithm for planning moves in a two-player strategy game.
Roman messenger god.
Son of Owain Glyn Dŵr. Travelled Wales seeking popular support after Glyn Dŵr vanished; visited The White Hart once.
He presented himself as a wizard, but does not seem to have been one.
A wizard of King Arthur's era.
In 1985, a metal-detector hobbyist named Ted Seaton discovered an amulet buried near Middleham Castle. It was a diamond-shaped pendant, in gold, with an inset cabochon sapphire. The pendant is engraved with images of the Trinity and the Nativity, and an inscription ending "Tetragramaton Ananizapta." The incantation appears to have been a ward against epilepsy.
Unfortunately, the Jewel plays no part in TDW, because the book was published two years before it was found. I include it here because I am certain that, if he'd known, Ford would have found a way to work it in.
Roman goddess of wisdom and learning. In her aspect as goddess of medicine, called "Minerva Medica."
A god of Persian origin. The mystery cult of Mithras was popular among soldiers in the Roman Empire.
Mithraism was eclipsed by Christianity around the fourth century AD.
Mithraism remained popular in many parts of the Byzantine Empire, including among the men of the Ducas line.
Followers of Mithras are initiated in secret rites into seven ranks in turn:
The primary characteristic esteemed by the cult, and therefore tested in these rites, is bravery. Initiations occurred on each December 25th, in temples called Mithraeums.
(~1420-1480 Dragon history; ~1420-1500 our history)
"Nottesignore" is Italian for "Night Master," which is appropriate for a wizard... a gauche wizard, anyhow.
Egyptian goddess of the sky.
Chief of the Norse gods. He is a god of battle and death.
Gallic god of speech and eloquence.
Zoroastrian creator god, and source of all good. (Also known as "Ahura Mazda.")
Glyn Dŵr began his rebellion against Henry IV in 1400 AD. In 1404 he crowned himself Owain IV in Harlech. His reign only lasted a few years; he began losing ground to Prince Henry (later Henry V) and Harlech fell in 1409. Glyn Dŵr continued to raid the English, but he was last seen in 1412.
These histories are almost consistent, but not quite. See p12.
In the Avon paperback edition of TDW, the circumflex in "Glyn Dŵr" appears to be hand-written on the plates above each "w".
The Paleologus family gained control of the remnants of the Byzantine Empire after the Sack of Constantinople. Michael VIII Paleologus recaptured Constantinople in 1261 AD. The dynasty continued to rule until the Ottoman conquest in 1453.
The Paleologus family took control of the Byzantine Empire from the Ducas family, some time prior to 1150 AD.
The badge of six red balls, or circles, which represented the Medici.
Brown-and-white hose are a mark of the Sforza, or of loyalty to them.
In 1165 AD, a letter arrived on the doorstep of Emperor Manuel I, with copies to the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope. The letter purported to be from the fabled Prester John, priest-king of a Christian empire in distant India or Africa or somewhere even more exotic. It said, basically: "Good morning, hope all is well, would you like the help of my vast riches and mighty armies in fighting off the Turks? We hear you have Turk trouble. Crusades and such. Anything you want, just ask."
(The letter was certainly a hoax, playing on European folklore about Prester John. It was ignored by the Emperors, although the Pope sent a reply off several years later. But people loved the idea, and copies circulated around for centuries.)
So Ford has set up a loose, but distinct, structural pun in his history: an alliance between Byzantium and an another power, arising unexpectedly in the year 1165.
The story of Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland remains consistent.
In 1478, a group of bankers -- the Pazzi and Salviati families, rivals to the Medici -- conspired with Pope Sixtus and Federigo da Montefeltro. On April 26th, a group of armed men assaulted the Medicis in the Cathedral of Florence (see p79). Giuliano de' Medici was killed; Lorenzo was wounded, but was moved to safety by Angelo Poliziano (see p65). The conspirators were put to death by the enraged Florentines.
For the TDW version of these events, see chapter 3, particularly p97.
(~1474-1499 our history)
Perkin Warbeck was the second of the Yorkist pretenders who challenged Henry VII after Richard's death. He turned up in Burgundy in 1490, claiming to be Richard of Salisbury, miraculously escaped from the Tower. Like Lambert Simnel, Warbeck was enthusiastically supported by Margaret of York (see p176) and other Yorkist partisans.
Warbeck prepared to attack England in 1495, but Henry headed it off. Supporting Warbeck, Henry was disturbed to find, was William Stanley -- the turncoat who handed Henry the victory at Bosworth Field (p368). Warbeck escaped, but Stanley lost his head.
Warbeck continued to try to raise armies against Henry. (He married a cousin of James VI of Scotland, who was happy to support assaults on England.) None of these achieved much progress. In 1497 Warbeck was captured, forced to recant his claimed identity, and imprisoned in the Tower. He attempted an escape in 1499 along with Edward, Earl of Warwick, the son of George, Duke of Clarence. Both were captured and executed.
Warbeck's life was the subject of a play by John Ford (see p377).
In 1830, Mary Shelley wrote a historical novel entitled The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck.
Fifth rank of the Mithraic mystery cult. (Latin: Perses)
Older brother of Cosmas Ducas.
Incurred a head injury, at some point before Cosmas was sent to Gaul. Philip now suffers from some level of mental disability; he has seizures, and is not always rational. His family considers him as having visions, but it is not clear whether these are preternatural visions or delusions.
Roman god of the underworld.
(Or "Pomfret," in Shakespeare.) A castle in Yorkshire.
TDW has four protagonists:
However, their introduction, and the story's use of point-of-view, go beyond the simple list.
The first three are introduced sequentially, in the first three chapters (p3-24, p25-60, p61-99). Each of these chapters written from that character's point of view. That is, while the prose is third-person, the narratives are tightly within each character's head.
Chapters four and five (p103-138) are entirely different. The three known protagonists vanish, and then are reintroduced from under various aliases. (On p111, p113, p132.) But now the narrative is entirely external. The point of view does not leave their presence, but it never enters their heads; not even after their identities have been revealed.
Gregory is introduced here (p106-107), but so are several other characters, some of whom will not live out the next few pages. These chapters comprise a formal murder mystery. But the external point of view handles everyone symmetrically, including Gregory. The reader cannot distinguish the protagonists from the continuing characters from the victims; one can only follow the process of elimination.
Chapters six and seven give us the four traveling together, which establishes Gregory as a continuing character, at least. But the viewpoint remains external -- except, oddly, for a brief shift to Cynthia's thoughts on p162. There is also one scene that moves away from the characters entirely, and takes a purely historical point of view: p184.
Chapter eight and chapter nine divide the group, and take place in parallel; Dimi and Gregory in one thread, Cynthia and Hywel in the other. Both of these chapters, however, continue to play distancing tricks with their focus.
Chapter nine begins with Hywel's view, because Cynthia is (by this point) deeply damaged; she has been slipping into trauma since chapter three. However, in the course of this chapter, she begins to heal. And we experience this when the viewpoint passes to her, on p243. But she and Hywel are attacked at the end of the chapter, and both of their threads are lost.
Chapter ten (p265) gives us Gregory's internal narrative, for the first time -- six chapters after his introduction. Through chapters ten and eleven, the viewpoint passes freely between him and Dimi. But at the end of chapter eleven, these two are imprisoned as well.
Chapter twelve begins with no internal viewpoints, for just as in chapter four, Cynthia is in disguise. But the narrative gives her away within two pages (p315), and moves into her head once again. The rest of the chapter rescues the others. As they return to the narrative, their viewpoints are added to the mix, one by one: Dimi, and then Gregory (for he is unconscious when first rescued), and finally Hywel. And the thirteenth chapter moves freely among all four protagonists. Until the final line (p376) steps back from them all.
Thus, the three-chapter divisions of the table of contents are revealed to be something of a blind. After the initial three chapters, the novel proceeds in a two-chapter rhythm: mystery, group quest, parallel journeys, partnership of two, crescendo to climax. The initial (triplet) beat is within the characters' heads, the next two beats are outside, the last three once again inside.
Kallian Ptolemy, Byzantine wizard. First seen as a prisoner of English soldiers, a rebel against the Lancastrians.
The name Ptolemy is Greek. (But the historical astronomer we know as Ptolemy appears to have been Egyptian. See p37.)