Open any guidebook about Corsica and you’re likely to come across a picture of this exquisite Romanesque church in Murato. Prosper Mérimée, who was Inspector of Public Monuments, said in 1839 that it was “the most elegant and the most attractive church he had come across on Corsica.” We visited the site in 2014 and I heartily agree with him.
It’s no secret that I’m a Corsicaphile. I’ve visited six times (not nearly enough!) and never cease to be inspired by its history, culture and landscapes. This is the first in a series of posts about inspiring places on the island. Some of them appear in my books; others don’t yet.
I’m starting with a monument that has appeared in both of my Corsica novels: the Paoline Tower in Nonza on Cap Corse, the finger-like projection at the north end of the island. It’s often been described as “the island of the island” and has its own distinctive feel. The village of Nonza is on the rugged west coast.
Corsica, that captivating, mountainous island in the Mediterranean, conceals many mysteries. It has a fascinating culture and a turbulent history. Here are some facts about the island that you might not know.
I have been itching to show you the cover for the next in my Tales of Corsica series, The Corsican Widow, which will be published on 10th May 2018. The Kindle version is now available for pre-order on Amazon. The designer was, again, JD Smith, who has designed previous covers for me and I’m delighted with it. She has really captured the spirit of the book.
Pasquale Paoli, who led the Corsican republic from 1755 to 1769, probably never considered himself a revolutionary. To him, the struggle to liberate Corsica from its Genoese masters was a nation state’s legitimate bid for independence and he regarded himself on a par with other heads of state. Today, he is much less well known outside Corsica than his compatriot Napoleon Bonaparte, and yet he was a towering figure of his era.
Finding out about the daily lives and concerns of your characters is hard, especially when they aren’t famous historical figures. You don’t want to put all the details of food, dress, housing, etc. into your novel, but you still have to provide a convincing social background to the story.
This book doesn’t look like much, I know, and the subject may seem a little abstruse – Everyday Life in Corsica in the 18th Century. But this was the only copy available outside faraway libraries; the very last one I could get hold of.
Why is it so important to me? Because it’s invaluable for one of my latest works in progress, which is set on the island of Corsica in the 18th century. And yet it almost slipped from my grasp.