The protagonists of The Bone House interact with several historical personages on their ley travels and I suspect an English Egyptologist served as the inspiration for at least one of the protagonists.
Thomas Young (13 June 1773 – 10 May 1829) figures in the narratives of Kit and Wilhelmina and I'm hoping he will be back in The Spirit Well. An English polymath, Young made contributions to physics, physiology, and Egyptology, particularly deciphering hieroglyphics. Lawhead provides a biographical sketch of Young in the essay that concludes The Bone House. Wilhelmina describes Young as "the last man on earth to know everything" (p. 43).
|Dr. Thomas Young by|
|Sir Thomas Lawrence.|
|*Statue of Roger Bacon in the|
|Oxford University Museum of|
Turms the Immortal plays a role in Arthur Flinders-Petrie's narrative. Many years previous, when Turms was a young prince, Arthur had been his student. Now the priest-king of the Etruscans, Turms receives omens, foretells the future, and passes judgements for his people. Arthur brings the pregnant Xian-Li to Turms to learn if the child she carries is still alive. Following a divination ceremony, Turms announces to the couple that the child is not only alive but will enjoy a long life. Unlike Thomas Young and Roger Bacon, Turms is not a real person but a deity from Etruscan mythology. Like the Greek god Hermes, Turms is a messenger between the gods and humans as well as the god of trade. The deity's role as a messenger seems appropriate to Turms the Immortal's role as a soothsayer.
Many critics make a career of speculating about and tracking down a writer's sources. While researching Turms, I came across a novel by Mika Waltari, a Finnish writer of historical novels, titled The Etruscan (1956). The story traces the amazing life of Lars Turms the immortal in ancient Greece and Rome. I haven't read Waltari's novel so I can't speculate on the connection between Waltari's Turms and Lawhead's Turms, but the coincidence is intriguing.
|Flinders Petrie, in Jerusalem (1930's).|
*Photograph of Roger Bacon's statue taken by Michael Reeve, 30 May 2004. This image is used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of The Bone House from the publisher.
Stephen R. Lawhead's website: http://www.stephenlawhead.com/.
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