A Hancock County, Maine, woman recently heard an intriguingly story about the region’s history: a refugee from the French Revolution, Madame Rosalie de Leval, attempted to develop a French community in Hancock and Washington counties in 1791.
Both the storyteller and the listener concurred that Madame’s story should be written. The woman researched Madame’s name on the Internet. In doing so, she found this blog site.
She called me. I assured her that the story was already being written.
Welcome to the launching of www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com, a blog site designed to inform you about the progress of and the background of my historic romance novel, Intertwined Love. To read its synopsis click on https://intertwinedlove.wordpress.com/intertwined-love-the-novel/.
To celebrate, a prize will be sent to the person making the most comments between June 15-July 4, 2010.
I’ve worked on this project for many years. It’s finally in the “writing” stage.
Intertwined Love evolved out of research of the East Lamoine, Maine, branch of my family genealogy.
These ancestors—Mary Googins, daughter of Rogers and Elizabeth Welch Googins, and Louis des Isles, a refugee from the French Revolution, who married Mary in 1796, are main characters in Intertwined Love.
des Isles descendents (Eugene des Isles, Sue, nee des Isles, and Gladys Vigent) and visits to East Lamoine introduced me to the East Lamoine’s oral history, from which I learned about Madame. Extensive research disclosed her negotiations with Gen. Henry Knox, Col. William Duer, Gen. Jackson (Knox’s agent), and ultimately William Bingham, to purchase a large land tract in Hancock and Washington Counties, where she planned to develop a uniquely French community. Her purpose was to preserve French culture for refugees waiting out the Revolution.
That her plan didn’t materialize was due to no fault of her own, but to the overly ambitious American land speculators whom she was dealing with.
Although the novel is set on a historical framework, it is of necessity fiction—details need to be filled and conversation needs to be developed. The stories revolve around the intertwined lives and loves of Madame, Louis, Mary, Joseph, and Franco von Berckle, the man Madame ultimately weds.
The novel begins with Madame’s story. Her “romantic” involvements are not with men—but with business. Even her marriage to van Berckle is a business arrangement.
With minimal grasp of the English language, she maneuvered the business world of land speculation and settlement. I originally wrote her story for a New England Quarterly competition. Someone else won, but I didn’t lose—my entry became a well-documented reference for my novel.
The second story is that of Louis and Mary, a retelling (or was it the original?) of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem, Enoch Arden.
The third story is that of Mary and Joseph Swett, whom she wed after Louis was presumed drowned at sea.
The novel’s backstory involves the Scioto (Ohio) Land Grant, a sub-grant under the Ohio Land Grant. It is set in Boston, goes to Paris, returns to the United States—Alexandria, Scioto, and Philadelphia.
The novel itself opens in Philadelphia, goes to East Lamoine, and finally, British Guiana and Alencon, France.
The extensive research involved professional or independent historians; genealogists; photographers; critiquers; readers, and neighbors throughout the United States and the world—from Georgia to Wisconsin to Maine to Laurel Mountain Borough, (PA); from France to Sweden to Australia.
After completing the research, I began my first chapter—only to discover I hadn’t researched enough. For Madame to explore 1791 Philadelphia I had to know what the city was like then.
Although I have sketched scenes throughout the novel, I am now working on the fifth consecutive chapter.
I invite you to explore www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com. Posts vary,
but each is pertinent to the novel—background historical pieces, character profiles, scene descriptions. Some have actual blurbs from the novel (whichwill likely change with progressive drafts). Dock Creek in Philadelphia, PA , tells the story of the only 1791 Philadelphia street that was “off” William Penn’s grid design. Eyes in shades of purple, explains the physical description of Madame de Leval. Read about Madame’s experience climbing Schoodic Mountain in Maine, and her observation of the first gas balloon launch in the United States.
I designed the blog in March, but waited to launch it had twenty posts. Meanwhile, the site accumulated almost a thousand hits.
Posts will not be made on a regular basis. To receive notification of new posts subscribe to this blogsite: simply type your email into the SUBSCRIBE box in the upper right hand corner of the blog (your email will not be public). Once you confirm the subscription in an email sent from the blog-site host, wordpress, you should receive notification of each new post.
I welcome any corrections on what is posted, and any insight you can offer on this project. Contact me through the comment box at the end of each post, or by E-mail: intertwined_love.new_england at yahoo.com.
Thank you for visiting this site today. Don’t forget to subscribe!
www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com see categories:
www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com : note the NEW ENGLAND category
ANOTHER BLOG SITE:
www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com : Beanery Online Literary Magazine, sponsored by the Beanery Writers Group in Latrobe, PA