Archive for the ‘Macbeth’ Category

Review for HEIR TO A PROPHECY by Frank Watson

Get out of the way, Philippa Gregory! There’s a new sheriff in town. Or, considering the historical setting, should I say “high sheriff.” Maybe “steward” (an important official who manages another’s property or financial affairs) might be even more accurate, because Mercedes Rochelle has entered the popular and competitive historical fiction field with Heir to […]

Review for HEIR TO A PROPHECY by Helen Skinner

“Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.” In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, these are the words spoken by the three witches to Macbeth’s friend, Banquo. Soon after this, Banquo is murdered and his son, Fleance, flees Scotland and does not appear again in the play. In Heir to a Prophecy, we follow Fleance as he escapes […]

Shakespeare’s Recipe For Disaster, Guest Post by Kit Perriman

In Act IV – Scene I of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s three “weird sisters” prepare a “hell-broth” to produce a series of apparitions for Macbeth, that set in motion a chain of deadly events.  Written only six years before the Lancashire Witch Trials, this script provides a good insight into magical beliefs of that time. “Round about […]

Shakespeare’s Macbeth Stands Alone

What is it about Macbeth that stands out from the other Shakespeare tragedies? I think it might be easier to ask: what makes Macbeth a tragedy at all? Even though his eerie meeting with the Three Witches sets him on a destructive path, his rise and fall are truly of his own making, driven by […]

Review of HEIR TO A PROPHECY by Nimue Brown

I’ve read Macbeth a number of times and seen it live as well, including an amazing production in the ruins of Ludlow Castle. If you come at it just as a reader of fiction, it seems to exist in that ancient never never time of mystery and maybe was and probably wasn’t… along with figures […]

Preface for HEIR TO A PROPHECY by Mercedes Rochelle

It is of legends that I write in this story, rather than facts; for after almost a thousand years of history, what can we call truth out of the tiny scraps that survived?  When men claimed descent from a bear, and people believed that dragons  roamed the earth, who is to say what is fact […]

What was the Tanist Succession?

The Tanist (or Tannist) is an interesting concept, and not much has been written about it.  In its simplest terms, a Tanist was a royal successor.  Tanistry seems to be Celtic in origin, and appears to have been imported into Scotland from Ireland in the fifth century.  In the earliest days, the Tanist was not necessarily […]

Duncan was not killed in his bed by Macbeth

Shakespeare told some great stories, but historians will agree that real history often gets buried beneath the great Bard’s verses.  The death of King Duncan was one of those exaggerations.  For anybody who hasn’t read or seen Macbeth, in essence he meets three witches on the heath who plant the suggestion in his mind that he will be […]

Who is Donald Bane?

For most of us, our first contact with Donald Bane (or Donalbane) comes with the play Macbeth.  After poor King Duncan was killed in his bed, his heirs feared assassination and fled the scene; Prince Malcolm slipped away to England and Doland Bane went to Ireland.  And this is the last we see of Donald Bane in the […]

Excerpt from “Thou Shalt ‘Get Kings”

This excerpt from my novel is about the Christmas attack made by Harold Godwineson on the Welsh palace of Gruffydd ap Llewelyn in 1062, who was mysteriously warned at the last minute and barely managed to escape by sea:      Ealdgyth took Walter’s vague warning seriously.  Sensing that they had little time, she hurried back […]