Saturday, April 19, 2014

THE CULPER SPY RING

COMING SOON IN AUDIO!
I have enjoyed both episodes of TURN on AMC. I think it is about time that The Culper Spy Ring got their due!

The show as I've stated before is based on a book, Washington's Spies, by Alexander Rose.  What a brilliant writer Mr. Rose has proven himself to be. A historian, he has done a masterful job depicting the life that spies faced during the American Revolution.

His book deals directly with The Culper Spy ring. My series, Winds of Betrayal, is loosely based on the ring. I haven't read his book. It's on my TBRL as soon as I finish up my series, both Washington's Spies and Washington's Secret Six.

There are discrepancies in the show and the real ring. Subtle differences. Necessary to bring drama to the spy ring, I'm certain. Liberties are taken. We have to when writing historical fiction. I write what I think would have been a possible scenario because the information on the ring is limited at best...at least for me it was.

On TURN, there is a back story between Abe Woodhull and Anna Strong suggesting a love affair. According to the information I researched, Anna Strong was a loving wife to her boisterous husband, Judge Seliah Strong. Also, Anna was born in 1740.

Abraham Woodhull was born in 1750. His father, according to my research, had Patriot ties, not Loyalist ties. Woodhull was a key link in the ring. He was a nervous man with just cause. The danger of being a spy was real. There again, Woodhull wasn't married during the war. He didn't marry until after the war.

The tavern and general store was owned by Austin Roe, who served as courier after Woodhull became concerned that the British might suspect him because he had no reason to visit New York. Roe would have had a reason because he needed merchandise for his businesses. The New York connection was Robert Townsend. Caleb Brewster was the seafaring captain that didn't seem to be afraid of anything.

Now I am being nick-picky here. The show said it began after the British occupied New York. That would have been late 1776. The Culper Spy Ring began spying in 1778. I, also, caught the scene with Major John Andre in the second episode. Andre was a prisoner of war in 1775, exchanged in December 1776 with the rank of Captain. He wasn't a Major until 1778. Also, I don't believe the intelligent officer would have  proclaimed his rank as head of intelligence to one he was bedding. Andre was a shrewd and sly man, keenly observant. I have no doubt he would have used the actress as a spy, but Andre had a way about him that he could manipulate others to do his biding without demanding it of them because of his rank. 

Of course, I am not a historian, only a lover of history. I find the American Revolution fascinating.
Here's a couple of links I have used in my research on The Culper Spy Ring,   Anna Strong   Abraham Woodhull  John Andre

In my series, Winds of Betrayal, I myself have taken quite a few liberties. It is historical fiction. I have taken a different approach to the ring. My characters come from the outside and fall upon the Culper Spy Ring. I have tried to cover the whole of the war. It is one of the reasons the series is so long.

When I first started writing Winds of Betrayal, I had intended only to write up to Benedict Arnold's betrayal. The more research I unearthed, the more I realized I had to continue the story. I discovered Charleston and the Southern Campaign. I had to include in my series.


No matter the differences in the real story and the one portrayed on TURN, the dangers were immense. These Patriots deserve the honors bestowed upon them. I enjoy watching the series and will continue to do so. I hope it is a huge hit.

Coming next month, The Heavens Shall Fall! It is a long book...I have three storylines converging to one, but it is non-stop action.

I also have Winds of Betrayal I & II: The Cry For Freedom and Embrace of the Enemy combined for a book in print. Also the audio version is coming within the week. I will let you know. Until then, Winds of Betrayal I & II is on special for $.99. Enjoy!

WINDS OF BETRAYAL I & II




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