This is research?

Currently I’m reading my way through a large stack of printouts (many from Wikipedia, which is useless for real research but very helpful for the sort of general knowledge in which personal opinion is paramount.) I also have a stack of books from the library, with more arriving every day, which I’ll talk about later, but I thought I’d give you an idea of what I’m doing at the moment. And mind, these are only the most current topics:
Standing Stones of Britain
Aleister Crowley
The South Downs Trail
The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Lucifer
The Hellfire Club
Luciferianism (wikipedia)
Richard Dadd (wikipedia)
The Long Man of Wilmington
The Bloomsbury Group

So, if you want to know what The Language of Bees is about, there’s your start.

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  1. LaideeMarjorie on February 26, 2008 at 11:54 am


    How deliciously provocative! Is there a brush up on “Dante’s Inferno” in the offing as well? Thanks as always for sharing with us. It makes the experience so much richer for us all and it pushes my curiousity button in the best of ways!


  2. Jessara on February 26, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Just standing stones? Here’s a site that shows, in micro detail, henges and timber circles and long barrows and round barrows and holy wells and mazes and Pictish symbol… Oh yes, you can filter. If you prefer, it’s part of a larger site:

  3. Teresa on February 26, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    With that list, you are giving away a lot. As a poet, a I find that poems often start out from a list, just such a list. Maybe I’ll write the poem version. See who gets done first.


  4. Lauren on February 26, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Oh how exciting! Mention of the Bloomsbury group is a happy happy thing. Can’t wait to see the results of the research.

  5. Carlina on February 26, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    *SQUEE* I love spoilers! *runs off to read these things*
    Perhaps I’ll comment more when I sink my teeth in to this! Thanks so much for sharing. I hope you and your family are doing well!

    All the best and I’m over the moon with this!

  6. Roxanne on February 26, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    How deliciously provocative indeed. Some of the topics I can understand. Others predate The Language of Bees and I will be very interested to see how they fit in.

    I can’t wait for the list of books. Then I will be off to the library!

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. nkk1969 on February 26, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    [Standing Stones of Britain
    The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Lucifer
    The Hellfire Club]

    Hmm. If you need more (read: well-documented) research info on these topics, I’m sure Diana Gabaldon would be happy to help. Although her interest in, and research materials dealing with, the Hellfire Club would be about 150 to 175 years before the time period you write about. Besides that, the woman _is_ a walking Catholic encyclopedia. 😉

    Just let me know what you need and I’ll either ask her or give you her direct email address (the one that doesn’t take three months to get an anwer from) in a private message.

    Nikki, who is now imagining Russell falling through a cleft in a stone to come out in a different time…AAAAAAAAACCCKKK (just joking)

  8. corgimom on February 26, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    What? No Druids?

  9. Indigo Eyebrow on February 27, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Standing Stones of Britain and the Bloomsbury group are such interesting topics I’m sure you will write a fantastic book. Can’t wait to read it!

  10. Strawberry Curls on February 27, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    [Standing Stones of Britain and the Bloomsbury group are such interesting topics I’m sure you will write a fantastic book.]

    Throw in Luciferianism, A. Crowley, R. Dadd and the Hellfire Club and you have quite a mix. The list sent me on my own research as I knew little or nothing about some of the people and things listed. I love that your books do that to me. Needless to day, I can’t wait either.


  11. Heidi O. on February 27, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Well, I don’t know if it qualifies as a research book but Terry Pratchett’s “The Wee Free Men” has some little known information about Dadd’s painting.

  12. Melody Kitchens on February 27, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I am off to the library this weekend. I can’t wait to see how you use the list in The Language of Bees. Thanks to Mary Russell I have reread Kipling and A.C.Doyle. Thank you for coming up with the best reading list that I could ever ask for. Hurry with the book I have missed Holmes and Russell. I feel as though they are old friends that I look forward to seeing.

    I truly enjoyed Touchstone.

  13. Pat Mathews on February 29, 2008 at 11:01 am

    If you’re going with this where I think you’re going, you might want to check out the history of the Golden Dawn.

  14. Jean on February 29, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I am intrigued by the book list as the South Down Trail passes within a mile of my home in Hamshire.
    I wonder if Russell and Holmes are going to appear on my home ground – probably not, more likely the Sussex Downs than the Hampshire Downs.

  15. Real Icon on March 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Oh, this is sadism, but a wonderful kind of sadism (does that imply that I’m a book masochist?!). Can anyone lend me a time machine, so I can swish a little into the future and read this book? I am also thrilled about your list of research material because the one time I have stumbled across Crowley in a novel, that novel was one of my favourites (definitely not becaus of this character, though!): Carl-Johan Vallgren’s wonderful “Documents Concerning Rubashov the Gambler” …

  16. Guy on March 11, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I am intrigued by A Crowley being included as a research topic for the next Russell/Holmes story. Crowley was a personal friend of Dennis Wheatley, once one of the most successful authors on the planet, now largely forgotten. Wheatley’s most famous work is ‘The Devil Rides Out’ (also a memorable Hammer Horror movie) which was heavily influenced by the occult material the author gained from his talks with Crowley. Given that Wheatley’s book and ‘The Language of Bees’ are set in more or less the same period, perhaps Wheatley’s hero the Duc de Richeleau might make a cameo appearance in the latter? Not much chance perhaps but I have got great pleasure from both writers and I would enjoy seeing them with a tangible link.

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