When I was writing the first draft of my novel I was particularly fascinated with the history of London. My book is not historical by any means, but since I lived there for over a year, and it is my favorite city in the world, I wanted to give London its proper due.
I spent a week writing an introduction to London which is the first European city my main character visits after her father dies. I was proud of myself when it was done and I was sure it would be one of the best parts of my book.
Sadly, now that I am in the revisions stage, this passage has to go (I think). Something much simpler should take its place and I am very sad to make this cut. I promise to make it up to London when I am there in October.
My Ode (not by pure definition) to London
(aka first draft of chapter 15 introduction)
Out of wet marsh London was born. The land’s most important asset was a river that stretched it’s way along and through the country side bringing water and food to it’s inhabitants. Roman occupation began the legacy that is the great city but an early revolt by the natives threatened their hold. A swift reoccupation turned London into a town bustling with trade of the finest linens, spices, and jewels. With great power comes great enemies, and the Romans were soon removed and the city gave way to becoming a village once again. With vast spaces of time between the earliest London and the middle ages, London was reborn throughout history and with its faithful indignation refused to fail.
Medieval London brought disease and sickness and they ran fiercely together hand in hand through its waste filled streets. Death had no enemies and no friends and was indiscriminate in its taking and was unrestrained by medicine or technology. An entire generation lost an entire generation and mourning was the song of the century. A congested and rodent infested city , London should have found its demise there in the graves and muck but its resilience pressed on.
Foreign kings reigned over England and made London their stronghold. Towers and bridges were built around the life giving river, and wars were fought to maintain control of land, people and religion. With short memories of power and rule the English found their glory in crowning Kings and Queens. The population suffered at the hands of the worst, and prospered at the hands of the best, finding a long history of royalty in the blood of few. Learning to govern became London’s task and from The Abbey to the Palace, royals took their oaths and bred their heirs, and would produce one of the the longest reigning Queens in history. Out of the ashes it rises, brick by brick, stone by stone, until learning, culture, commerce and trade become it’s greatest draw. Sitting at the county seat London watched two centuries of conquering lift it’s parent into the greatest Empire in the World. Wealth and power were the games of the time and no other empire in History could claim the fame of Great Britain. Widespread reach would force the Empire to lose its traction in spreading it rule, and with the loss of the Thirteen colonies Britain should have lost its allure. True to form Britain pushed forward and expanded its reach to the Far East and the Dark Continent but after two world wars the country began to lose its favor and its reign subsided. Through it all London remained.
Out of fire, war, kings, queens, death, life, commerce, sports, writing, and art, a small marshy village became the greatest city in the world.
Sabine arrived and it was raining.