Anyone Here Remember 15th Century Ireland?

Posted: September 3, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yeah, me either. And that’s a problem, because in the sequel to The Last Princess, I’m sending Cat Brökkenwier back there.

Book Two of the series* is tentatively called The Last Faerie Godmother.


Last FG Cover


The premise I’m building on is that a botched wish sends Cat back 500 years to the rein of the previous princess of the fae, where Cat must take her place. In this time, the fae are still mostly pure, although their numbers are dwindling, and so much of the story will take place in the wilds where the fae dwell.

But I also anticipate that there will be a great deal of interaction and mixing with the local humans, including kings and sheep farmers, and so forth. I’d like to incorporate a traditional Irish fairy tale into the plot, and have Cat get mixed up in that, as well.

What I’m missing is a feeling for what life was like in the late 1400s and early 1500 in Ireland. How did people live? What were their homes like? Are we talking Brave, or something else entirely? What was your daily routine if you weren’t living in the king’s castle? What did people believe?

I’ve been reading Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry, and it has been quite instructive, but it gives very little detail about daily life and what things looked like and so forth. If you can recommend some resources I would be most grateful.

I also need to understand the politics and economy and so forth. I understand that Henry the VIII declared himself ruler around 1530, and everything changed. Before that I understand there were lots of local kings who were more like clan chiefs (again, think of Brave), and that’s the period I’m looking for.

Oh … who’s the last faerie godmother, you ask? The picture on the cover mock-up I’ve created is meant to be Cat’s elderly dryad mentor when she was young, coincidentally at the time to which Cat is sent back. But as Mrs. Dalyrimple tells Cat: “A fearie’s about the worst choice for a godmother you could possibly pick.” And in The Last Faerie Godmother you’ll find out exactly why. Think of Cinderella with political intrigue thrown in, and a faerie bent on revenge who meddles in the affairs of kings. And their daughters. Specifically a beautiful young girl named Trembling….**

I will be sending out copies of The Last Princess to those of you who have signed up to be Beta Readers later this week. So if you’re interested there’s still time to sign up! In the meantime, all of your Irish historians out there, your comments and suggestions are most welcome!




* I don’t have a name for the series, yet. I’m aiming for probably 5 books total. Perhaps the “Cat Brökkenwier Series” or the “Fae-Born Series.”

** There’s an Irish version of Cinderalla called Fair, Brown and Trembling, which could very well be the original version from which all later versions evolved.

  1. James T. (Stew) Stewart says:

    John – – I have had an interest in archeology since the 1950’s, and subscribe to several magazines. In one I read just last week I found a description of recent “digs” in mountainous areas of Scotland, so I ran a search online (I refuse to say “google”) and found a BUNCH of links for you:

    Cut and paste the above into your browser and I think you’ll have enough to keep you and your daughter busy for a while!

    Stew (James T. Stewart)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kyle8414 says:

    “Is it like Brave?”
    If this is anybody’s idea of Irish history, there is a lot of work to do.
    I would say hit the library for books on Irish politics and geography. The internet is full of useless American made fiction about what Ireland is like.


  3. kyle8414 says: this is a typical Irish dress as found on a warrior’s remains. My study or history as far back as aged nine tells me this is pretty accurate. Women would have used similar materials to wear simple gowns you might find something of use here too. this is a good social history text. Wikipedia is oft misleading, but I’ve gone through it and can’t find anything glaringly wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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