A Broadside More

Cheating this week, I’m afraid…a fairly major work crisis, so no time to write a proper blog! But it’s all for a good cause, and there’ll be some exciting news about the ‘Quinton Journals’ coming soon. In the meantime, here’s a little ditty published in 1665. In fact, this serves a double purpose rather neatly – as well as saving me time, it provides a superb insight into the sorts of mentality, language and anti-Dutch xenophobia that form the backdrop to both The Mountain of Gold and The Blast That Tears The Skies. ‘Hogen Mogen’ was an English nickname for the Dutch, derived from the translation of ‘High Mightinesses’, the form of address used for the States-General of the United Provinces. However, it seems that the author had very little idea of what he was writing about. The action he describes bears little resemblance to the Battle of Lowestoft, 3 June 1665, which forms the climax of The Blast That Tears The Skies, and his references to ‘Trump’ clearly refer to Admiral Maarten Tromp, who was killed in 1653 not long after (probably apocryphally) tying a broom to his mast to indicate he had swept the Channel, rather than to his son Cornelis, who was present at Lowestoft. The author is clearly also a rabid Cavalier who praises by name the two royal admirals, the Duke of York and Prince Rupert, but omits any similar mention of the former Parliamentarians, notably the Earl of Sandwich and Sir John Lawson. This tension between the two rival camps, deriving from the bitter legacies of the civil war, is a major plot theme in The Blast…

%d bloggers like this: