"Principia" is a historical science-fiction & occult serial set in Restoration England.
Latest Chapter (Nov. '14)
Principia: Glorious 3: The Terror of Withersmouth Lennon, Delapore, and Ruthven are trapped in a coastal village that is not what it seems.
The year is 1685. Torn apart by the Monmouth Rebellion and the Bloody Assizes, Britain careens towards full-scale revolution. The Catholic king, a pawn of the French, alienates his Protestant subjects by ignoring the rights of his citizens, persecuting the established Church, and arming his coreligionists in Ireland.
Meanwhile, secret societies plot for control of the British crown. Foreign invasion looms. And behind closed doors, alchemists and sorcerers prepare to battle for supremacy.
At Densmore College, Cambridge, young Edgar Delapore is unaware he will become a pawn in the machinations of these dark forces. He will turn for aid to two men — Jonathan Lennon, a strange American with a mysterious past; and Isaac Newton, an eccentric scholar with a brilliant mind. But both men have ties to the very forces that seek to control England, in This World and the Other.
The third full-length story in the Principia serial, The Terror of Withersmouth, is now available on Amazon!
A snippet from the story was previously posted here. The full tale is 20,000 words, the longest so far — the stories keep getting longer, think of it as value for your money!
Lovecraft fans will recognize this as an homage to the classic novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1936).
Let me know what you think via email or in the comments!
Coming soon (probably February): Principia 4: A Plague Upon Cardiganshire
I’ve done some research and reading about Isaac Newton, as he’s a major character in Principia. I tend to think of my character as “90% Newton,” because while he’s mostly the Historical Newton (at least until December 1684, when he meets Jonathan Lennon), I have taken some liberties. I’m also taking a few of the real Newton’s better known characteristics, and exaggerating or developing them.
But I have yet to delve into the giant biography of Newton, Richard S. Westfall’s Never at Rest, which has been haunting my desk for six months. But I shall, I promise.
Here are 12 surprising facts about Isaac Newton. I’ve taken care to find sources for some of these, as many of the “facts” that float around the Internet, especially on historical matters, tend to be decidedly non-factual. (Here are a few hints: the Nazis were not socialists, Jews did not build the pyramids, and the vikings did not wear horned helmets.)
- Isaac Newton was born three months prematurely on Christmas Day, 1642, Julian calendar. (I was born two months prematurely on Christmas Day, Gregorian calendar. This is a meaningless coincidence.)
- Newton never married, and it is likely that he died a virgin (although, see fact 12).
- Newton attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where he would later teach — but he went there to study law, not mathematics or Natural Philosophy.
- While a student at Trinity, Newton supported himself by working as a subsizar, a student who acted as a servant to another student of higher station.
- When doing his groundbreaking research on optics, Newton found the ground glass lenses available to him insufficient. But he was already in possession of a far superior lens — the one in his eye. He manipulated his eyeball with a bodkin, a blunt needle, ignoring the discomfort to perform his observations.
- Although Newton’s scientific and mathematical worked changed the course of human history, he spent the vast majority of his academic years at Cambridge pursuing theological studies and the pseudoscience of alchemy.
- While Newton is venerated by rationalists and secularists for his contributions to science and human knowledge, the man himself was deeply and profoundly religious.
- However, while nominally affiliated with the Church of England, Newton secretly held theological beliefs that were widely considered blasphemous at the time. It appears that, in particular, he did not believe in the Holy Trinity, and thought that worshiping Christ as God was idolatry.
- Newton was a Member of Parliament, representing Cambridge University in the Convention Parliament (1689–90) after the Glorious Revolution, and again in 1701–2.
- Newton was appointed Master of the Royal Mint, and pursued strenuous efforts to eliminate counterfeiting, including having a number of people executed.
- Newton was knighted in 1705 not for his scientific endeavors, or even for his work with the Royal Mint, but most likely as a reward for his political support.
- Newton shared rooms at Trinity with another man, John Wickens, for 20 years, from 1663 to 1683. Neither man pursued any kind of public romantic relationship during this period. Such a living relationship, if platonic, would have been quite common at the time. It has been suggested by some modern observers that this friendship may have hidden something more; but there is no evidence one way or the other.
My attitude with Principia is that if I (unintentionally) make a historical mistake, I definitely want to hear about it. The same with this blog post! And if you know any other interesting facts about Newton, post them below!
I am working on the first draft of the third full story in the Principia series, “The Terror of Withersmouth.” Here’s a snippet:
There were a fair number of locals in the common room, all young men who appeared to be friends of the inn-keeper, himself a Welshman in his 20s. Lennon and Delapore were the only foreigners until supper was being served, when a newcomer arrived.
He was a tall English gentleman, almost Lennon’s height, and about his age too, in his mid 30s. He was clean-shaven, with features that Lennon would call “chiseled,” and blue eyes that Lennon would call “penetrating.” His head was covered with a brown periwig, one in the shorter, more reserved style of an English country gentleman.
He wore a red body-coat, reminiscent of Lennon’s crimson justaucorps, but of a far more refined and simple design, along with a white cravat and knee-breeches. His shoes bore buckles in the current London style. He was a man of wealth, but a man of the country, one who was perfectly aware of the London fashions, but only adhered to those that matched his taste.
The newcomer strode over to the inn-keep, and made arrangements for himself and his man. He disappeared for a few minutes to his upstairs room, and was followed soon after by a servant bearing a trunk. But within a quarter-hour, the newcomer was back in the common room, eager to make the acquaintance of what he took to be the only other two Englishmen in residence.
“James Gordon, Lord Ruthven,” he introduced himself with a bow.