One last major piece of work here in the new house. I decided to attack it first thing this morning. Yes, I managed to get a bathroom mirror and shelf affixed in the cloakroom:
I also managed to do it without “wrecking” the wall, which is no mean feat. Drilling into plaster walls is definitely not like tacking something up on a wood-walled American house. Whew.
Oh, and speaking of America, “he” is now unpacked in my new office and watching me:
And I’m sure what I’m writing would irritate him.
I’m trying to portray Thomas Jefferson in Conventions not as some Mt. Rushmore secular American founding saint. Instead I want to catch him as he was increasingly perceived by my New Yorker young main character, his family, and many other Americans (especially in the northeast) of the 1790s. Bad enough that he was in their eyes apparently a “slippery” anti-George Washington politician (our 21st century has certainly not invented partisan politics), but he also continued to back the French Revolution to the hilt even as it descended into a paranoid murder-spree by late 1792 and some he had befriended while a U.S. diplomat there in the 1780s had been murdered:
In a sense, I’m asking of myself as a writer on behalf of those characters what they think of him given only what they know in their then present. Trying to separate oneself from everything we know about him that occurred afterwards, as well as much else we know about him that they then did not know, is not easy. And such naturally applies to everyone else portrayed, real or fictitious.
Getting a timely impression “right” in an historical novel is a creative challenge and an absolute necessity.
Hope you’re having a good day. 🙂