Baconian, I began entertaining the idea of writing a cycle of short stories centered around the idea of a secret guild of women dedicated to investigating the supernatural mysteries surrounding the life of Sir Francis Bacon. This would be based--sometimes loosely and other times with as much unwavering historical accuracy as I could wrangle--on the Ladies' Guild of Francis St. Alban, a mostly forgotten but extremely fascinating society founded in London in 1905 by the devout Baconian Mrs. Henry Pott (aka Constance Mary Pott, not to be confused, as is sometime the case, with her daughter of the same name, who was a noted artist), who had also inspired the formation of the Bacon Society of London in 1886.
|Mrs. Henry Pott (1836-1915)|
"With Dust Their Glittering Towers"--which has just been released in The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno, a charity anthology for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life--is the first story I've written for the Fly-Leaves series. It features intrepid Baconian Alicia Amy Leith, whose trip to Highgate takes a turn for the weird as she explores the crumbling ruins that mark the site of Sir Francis Bacon's death. Having been inspired by an article by the real-life Alicia Leith, I spent a lot of time researching the historical details behind this one, and then a heck of a lot of time revising and polishing it. While authors are often blind to which of their works are of merit, I'm not afraid to say I think it's possible this is my best piece of fiction yet--though doubtless I have made some historical blunder somewhere, and I hope the present-day Baconians can forgive the tale's more fantastic elements. Many thanks to David Herter, one of the most brilliant authors I know, and my wife, Laura, a sharp baloney detector, for being my first readers on this story.
|Sir Francis Bacon (1561-????)|
Oh, yes, and an ebook edition of The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno is coming soon. I'll post the relevant links when it goes live.