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Published by Matador, 28 November 2016. ISBN: 978-1-785899904 (PB)
This romantic historical adventure, in a
genre stretching back to writers such as John Buchan, Margaret Irvine, and Sir
Walter Scott, is set in Argyllshire on the west coast of Scotland in the late
eighteenth century at a time when the French Revolution was causing turmoil
throughout Europe. It begins, however, some years before with a chance meeting
between Malcolm Craig Lowrie, a young clan chief, then in exile, and the
beautiful child Adele (or Adelaide) de Fontenoy at the court of the French
queen Marie Antoinette. She befriends him; he never forgets her nor she him,
although they do not meet again for 10 years. By that time she has been living
with the elderly and corrupt English lawyer, Sir William Robinson, to whom
Adele’s equally corrupt father had sold her in exchange for a gambling debt
when she was a child. Since then, he has kept Adele in virtual isolation in his
grand mansion in Argyllshire, Robinson Hall, apart from her priest, Father John
Macdonald. She has so far violently repulsed Robinson’s advances. Now there is
an unexpected visitor: Lady Emma Bamburgh who is fleeing from Malcolm Craig
Lowrie whom she believes has murdered his cousin James Craig Lowrie whom she was
about to marry. Emma, believing that Malcolm will murder her next, seeks refuge
with Robinson who is an old friend of her father’s, the Earl of Bamburgh.
Malcolm, ten years after his fateful encounter with Adele, is still a wanted
man but is determined to protect his clansmen from the oppression of the Duke
of Argyll, chief of the mighty Clan Campbell with whom Robinson is anxious to
form a relationship profitable to himself. Malcolm’s ruthless vengeance for his
people’s wrongs has earned him the name of The Wolf of Dalriada. Meanwhile the
French Revolution has broken out and Adele fears that her father and her sister
Gabrielle are in deadly danger. Will Malcolm and Adele find each other and
fulfil their love? Will Robinson’s plans to marry Adele and to earn the favour
of the Duke come to fruition? And what will happen to the Lady Emma?
Dalriada was a real kingdom in the first
millennium AD which at its height ruled over much of the West Highlands and a
portion of what is now Northern Ireland. Although it had come to an end by
about 800 AD, no doubt the name lingered in legend in Argyll for centuries. The
author uses it as a starting point for this, her first novel, which is a stirring
historical romance which she tackles with immense gusto and a truly imaginative
recreation of the period and the location.
Between reading English Language and Literature at Bedford College, University
of London and acquiring an MA in Linguistics at the University of Essex,
Elizabeth Gates explored Europe as a teacher of English and Creative Writing.
She then went on to work as a freelance journalist for 25 years, published in
national, regional and local magazines and newspapers specialising in Public
Health Issues. When she's not writing, Elizabeth enjoys time with her friends
and family, and travelling.
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional
work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of
her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published
late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal
flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a
third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology –
and is now concentrating on her own writing.