Cross posting about papier-mâché castle section tower from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/hobbycraft-castle-tower/
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 2 May 2017.
Cross posting about papier-mâché castle section tower from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/hobbycraft-castle-tower/
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 2 May 2017.
Lots of steampunk Sherlock Holmes era self defence, umbrella duelling etc – don’t try this at home – on this interesting website about E.W. Barton Wright, 1860-1951, the inventor of Bart-itsu.
Bartitsu.org is a fascinating website or blog, written by James Marwood since 2008, is a real labour of love, researching this once-forgotten pioneer of the martial arts.
How to use your cane and hat (shield ) to defend yourself – a short silent film by James Marwood.
Lots more ravishing images of duelling in suitable clothing
This all fits well with Gerard Du Gre’s simple “Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust” skirmish duelling rules from Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/
I wonder how many manufacturers make these kind of gents and ruffians?
Playmobil certainly do top hat figures like Dracula. Somewhere amongst the many interesting steampunk and VSF miniatures, other figures might be found wielding sticks, umbrellas and walking canes etc. I searched the toy box and my collection for a few suitable figures:
Edith Garrud taught Jiu-jitsu to suffragettes protecting Mrs Pankhurst which became known as Suffra-Jitsu. See also Miss Sanderson or Madame Vigny http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/2015/11/solved-the-mystery-of-miss-sandersons-first-name/
A Match for Any Ruffian! Ladies Self Defence 1902 style
“The umbrella is distinctly a form of rapier; the husband-beater is a hand-and-a-half estoc (to be used in the saddle, if required); and the sunshade and parasol are short swords, or long daggers: and one and all are designed for thrusting— not cutting.
Yet how does the citizen use his characteristic weapon ? Why, as a broadsword—nearly always!”
from “The Umbrella: A Misunderstood Weapon” Bartitsu.org website
And going back a period to the Brontes (hooray, Arise Angria! etc) and late Regency / early Victorian period, 1838 Baron Charles Du Berenger’s Defensive Gymnastics:
Not forgetting Captain F.C. Laing of the 12th Bengal Infantry (Kelat-I-Ghilzai Regiment) who spent several months doing intensive training at the London Bartitsu Club.
Lots more Edwardian / Victorian military gents in the original Bartitsu Club
Egerton Castle’s Rapier training and Ancient Swordplay revival
Edwardian Paintball – harmless duelling with wax bullets?
Edwardian Lady Detective Judith Lee
Over almost a decade the Bartitsu website has thrown some interesting people nad pictures including:
The Simms Motor Scout, one of the world’s first armed motor vehicles?
and his Simms War Car, again possibly the world’s first armoured car?
I’m sure H.G. Wells would approve of Simms’ inventiveness and foresight. This 1899 invention narrowly missed deployment in the Boer War: “Because of difficulties, including a gearbox destroyed by a road accident, that arose during completion the prototype was not finished by Vickers until 1902 when the Boer War was over”. Now there is a “What If?” Boer War gaming scenario. The French version with a Russian Army connection looks even more modern – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charron,_Girardot_et_Voigt_1902
Noted Bartitsu historian Emelyne Godfrey has written several books and articles on crime and self defence in Victorian Britain.
All fascinating stuff – don’t try Umbrella Fencing at home without suitable head protection – from a website and area which throws up lots of interesting duelling scenarios for Gerard Du Gre’s “Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust” rules.
Scenarios and figures?
At last a gaming use for all those civilian figures, ladies with parasols, farmers with sticks, useless cameo cowboys and soldier figures clubbing with rifles, drum majors with their batons etc.
Part of the role of the Militia in Britain throughout Napoleonic, Regency and Victorian times was crowd control, as set out in Jenny Uglow’s In These Times (reviewed earlier on this blog). Rioters, luddites and mobs of protesters often armed only with pitchforks, cudgels and tools would be broken up or scared off by calling out the Militia. The Riot Act would be read etc, etc.
The Militia formed this role of suppression or public order before an organised police force in Victorian times. Jenny Uglow is very even-handed in her views on the British Government’s use of the Volunteers and Militia to suppress dissent or keep order during a surprisingly turbulent time of food riots, resistance of the press-gang, Highland clearances and labour disputes.
An Angrian police force or constabulary in top hat, blue tail coat and cutlass appear in the Charlotte Bronte Angria juvenilia stories in her early Victorian novella “Henry Hastings”. They are sent to all points of the compass, tracking down this escaped treacherous murdering deserter!
While some early top hatted policemen with their leather stock neck pieces (against garrotting gangs) carried a cutlass, traditionally British police have been unarmed. What is the police truncheon or American patrol officers night stick however but an extension of this Bartitsu type approach of self defence? Highwaymen beware!
Not forgetting those ever so useful handy Steve Weston Mexican Peasant figures, some of which would have a distinctively Boxer / Oriental / Street Fighting appearance with suitable painting. http://www.plasticsoldiers.co.uk/reg-pages/Weston%20Toy%20Co.
Off to track down some more useful ‘useless’ posed figures for more duelling in the mean streets, backyards, gardens and sandpits of my Imagi-Nations …
Meanwhile in the leafy Edwardian garden of my imagination
If any Ruffian snuck up on H. G. Wells in his garden whilst busy playing Little Wars, sorry I meant researching his next book, no doubt Wells would snatch up a nearby garden cane, whip off his straw hat and Have at Them! En Garde-ns!
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, April 28 2017.
A cross posting from my sister blog site Pound Store Plastic Warriors about Gerard De Gre’s Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust simple duelling card rules for use on table, beach, Sandpit and garden
Enjoy! Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN blog.
Garden Wargames blog post – Dumb Soldiers: The Past and Future of Garden Wargames? – Cross-posting from our sister blog site Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/dumb-soldiers-the-past-and-future-of-garden-wargames/
(Picture of beach found plastic soldiers, lost in the biggest sand pit for miles around!)
Through my blog contact or comments, Piotr Crass has asked me for help identifying this “old American civil war type figure”. It looks flat or semi flat to me and possibly homecast? If anyone can help Piotr or suggest good ID sites for him to contact, please contact piotrcrass who is @ or at gmail.com The figure can further be seen at imgur http://m.imgur.com/79fKXkX?r
Many thanks, Mark, Man of TIN blog.
I have been reading through more of Charlotte Bronte’s Tales of Angria searching for more campaign and uniform clues since my last blogpost:
I was intrigued by references to a Bronte regiment called the Bloodhounds.
The Bloodhounds are one of the intriguing Regiments of the Bronte family’s Imagi-Nations and Paracosmic world, a fictional European colonised Regency / 19th Century West Africa known as Glasstown and Angria. The tales were started off amongst the four Bronte children by the gift of wooden toy soldiers from their father Revd. Patrick Bronte.
The Bloodhounds were an Angrian Regiment, first commanded by Colonel Henry Fernando di Enara.
When Enara “the Tiger” became H.F. Etrei or Baron of Etrei (a savanna province of Angria) and the Angrian “Secretary at War” in Verdopolis c. 1839, the commanding officer or Colonel of the Bloodhounds post was taken by Colonel Nicholas Belcastro.
One of its infamous privates is Captain Henry Hastings, formerly national poet and soldier hero of Angria of the 19th Angrian Infantry. Hastings was court-martialled for shooting Colonel Adams, his commanding officer and defecting to Paris and the enemies of Angria, leading an uprising of Revolutionary French troops and Ashantee warriors against his former Angrian home.
Much of the surviving fragments of the Bronte Imagi-Nations stories such as Angria are told through different documents to create a more complex and realistic fiction – fictional or factional sources such as letters, diary entries, different narrators, poems, newspaper reports etc.
What brother Branwell Bronte wrote about Angria and its characters, Charlotte would also respond to or develop in her own writing or counter-writing.
Included amongst these “documents” in Charlotte Bronte’s 1839 Angrian novella Henry Hastings are these official Army type letters or fictional court-martial documents:
Rather than being executed, in view of his previous service, Hastings is encouraged to turn King’s Evidence on his former enemy or rebel colleagues (the King being Zamorna, the King of Angria naturally).
Hastings is expected to inform against other exotically named outlaws and allies of Northangerland such as the Renegade Angrian and leader of French forces Hector Mirabeau Montmorenci, [Lord] George Frederick Caversham and the native tribal Ashantee leader, Quashia Quamina Kashna. Barras, Dupin and Bernadotte are the names of real French Revolutionary figures.
These outlaw forces were present at the Battle of Westwood, 1837, in the Angrian Civial War, by which time Henry Hastings had defected and was fighting for the enemy against Zamorna the King of Angria and Hastings’ former 19th Angrian Regiment, Zamorna’s or the Devil’s Own.
If Hastings informs on his former Angrian renegades and collaborators, the death sentence for treachery, murder and desertion of Henry Hastings will be commuted to being stripped of his rank and transferred from the 19th to the Bloodhounds “under the grinding yoke of Colonel Nicholas Belcastro“.
Rather than the outrage of such military men as his commanding officer Colonel Hartford that Hastings “should have been shot when caught, as you’d shoot a dirty girning wolf”, others officers of the 19th such as Major King take a different view:
Charlotte Bronte is good at reflecting and pondering on the politics and rivalry amongst the army and different political rivals. She would be the only Bronte child to see the chaotic mess of the Crimean War in 1854-55, just before her untimely death.
This court martial document and speech seems realistic enough, especially for a young female writer at the time. Interestingly, as far as I know, unlike Jane Austen with her Royal Navy brothers, Charlotte Bronte and her family did not have close relatives in the army or navy.
Charlotte is also accomplished (almost in modern screenplay fashion) at using different characters for multiple viewpoints of the same situation. Here, Henry Hastings, reviled for killing his superior officer Adams, puts his own case or view of the situation to his sister, Elizabeth Hastings. Elizabeth is the mysterious heroine of the surviving fragments of the Bronte novella Henry Hastings.
Bronte scholars often read these Angrian fragments and ‘ juvenilia’ for insights into how each of the Bronte sisters developed into the a writer of their later, more finished works such as Jane Eyre.
In later more enlightened times, desertion and change of character amongst veterans would be seen as possible Battle Shock, Shell Shock, fatigue or PTSD. Drink also had much to do with Hastings’ fictional downfall, something that sadly affected his co-creator Branwell Bronte in real life.
Interestingly, Branwell Bronte suggests that (his main pseudonym / character persona) Henry Hastings feels that his Commanding Officer of the 19th, Lord Hartford, dislikes and has bullied and blocked his advancement in the past: “My Commander [Hartford] thought it expedient that a farmer’s son [Henry Hastings] should not shame by his advancements the pampered ignorants of Eastern Aristocracy [of Angria].
It would in real life be many years and several more generations before the lucrative system of purchasing Army Commissions system was replaced in the British Army. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchase_of_commissions_in_the_British_Army
More Bloodhound Clues
One intriguing reference to the Bloodhounds we mentioned in our last blogpost:
One of the Angrian’s most infamous infantry regiments are The Bloodhounds (Glen, p. 501) led by the Italian ‘Tiger’ Enara:
“A host of Dark whiskered and bearded warriors such looks of savage and relentless ferocity I never held before …
their great Raven banner bore in silver blazonry the single emphatic syllable. “DEATH” at their head … accompanied by 8 vast liver coloured dew lapped red eyed bloodhounds held in leashes stood the second commander of the Army Colonel Henry Fernando Enara.” (Excerpt from Branwell Bronte, Angria and the Angrians).
Zamorna had some unusual generals including Henri Fernando di Enara, an Italian known as ‘the Tiger’, whom he created Baron of Etrei and Governor of this Angrian savanna province of Etrei. He eventually becomes Angrian Commander in Chief, rather than second in command.
The Brontes refer to Enara’s campaigns against Zamorna’s or Angria’s enemies as a “tiger hunt”, a hunt not of but by ‘The Tiger’ Enara.
This figure with eight bloodhounds on leashes seems more out of a fantasy catalogue than a toy soldier one!
Appropriately Enara has dark brows and dark Italian features and for commander of a regiment with Raven banners, Enara has four raven haired daughters Maria, Gabriella, Giulietta and Francesca.
Another new reference in Charlotte’s novella gives further clues to the Bloodhound’s exotic appearance and uniform:
Hastings’ trail, like all nine days wonders, had sunk into oblivion. Hastings himself was gone to the Devil or to Belcastro, which is the same thing.
He had actually marched bodily out of [the regional capital] Zamorna, in the white trousers, the red sash, the gingham-jacket of a thorough going Bloodhound, as one of a detachment of that illustrious Regiment under the command of Captain Dampier.
To the sound of fife, drum and bugle, the lost desperado had departed, leaving behind the recollection of what he had been, a man: the reality of what he was, a monster.”
(‘Henry Hastings’, Charlotte Bronte: Tales of Angria, edited Heather Glen, p. 286-7).
This exotic sounding uniform sounds a little like the Los Colorados troops in the Osprey uniform books on the colourful troops of the Latin American Wars.
But Gingham? Gingham!
Gingham today sounds more Judy Garland than military garment, but I had a distant memory of a uniform plate of soldiers wearing Gingham.
I found it in Uniforms of the American Civil War by Blandford, another of my childhood library borrowing favourites.
Gingham itself has quite a long non military history, worryingly being known as Vichy in French. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingham.
Maybe not surprising as an American Civil War uniform as Gingham cloth was a Wild West staple and probably gave rise to the Gingham checked cowboy shirt. A brief history of Gingham is given here:
Gingham is used in some exotic military dress, as shown in the article about the checked military headscarf in the Middle East known as a Keffiyeh.
Gingham has also appeared recently as a check pattern on Manchester United’s 2012/3 football strip.
The Bloodhounds seem to have had an exotic, almost Zouave-like uniform with sashes and beards.
Gingham could be striped as well as checked – and in a host of colours, red, green, blue. So which colour Gingham to choose for the Bloodhounds?
And which figures and scale will I choose? I have no Peter Laing 15mm zouaves, but Airfix ACW or British Commandos work well in OO/HO for Zouaves. In 40mm or 54mm I may adapt or convert figures from Homecast or Prince August moulds or use some bearded Timpo ACW figures.
Gingham will of course be a challenge, just like tartan, to paint on figures!
Previous Bronte inspired Gaming blog posts
Whilst most of Branwell Bronte’s Glasstown and Angrian tales are reprinted in expensive academic volumes, I will have to rely on whatever campaign scenario and uniform clues I can glean from Charlotte’s more easily available and affordable books. I will update or add details as I discover them.
Blogposted by Mark, Mr MIN Man of TIN, April 2017.
“What news is stirring in your parts?” I asked.
“Nothing special” was the answer. “Only March has left the Angrians madder than ever.”
“What, they’re fighting still are they?”
“Fighting! Aye and every man amongst them has sworn by his hilts that he’ll continue fighting whilst he has two rags left stitched together upon his back.”
“In that case I should think peace would soon be restored”, said I.
Mr. Saunderson winked. “A very sensible remark”, said he. “Mr. Wellesley senior [Charlotte Bronte’s fictionalised Duke of Wellington] made me the fellow to it last time I saw him”.
“The sinews of war not particularly strong in the East?” I continued.
Mr Saunderson winked again and asked for a pot of porter. I sent for the beverage to the Robin Hood across the way and when it was bought Mr Saunderson, after blowing off the froth, took a deep draught to the health of “the brave and shirtless!” I added in a low voice “to the vermined and victorious!” He heard me and remarked with a grave nod of approbation, “very jocose”.
After soaking a little while, each in silence, Mr. Saunderson spoke again –
Mr. Saunderson did not speak again. He departed like the fantastic creation of a dream. I was called to hear a lesson and when I returned to my desk again, I found the mood which had suggested that allegorical whim was irrevocably gone …
This is not a couple of beer raddled gamers sitting in the pub talking about their fictional campaigns.
This interrupted fictional conversation is a snippet called “My Compliments to the Weather” section 5 from Charlotte Bronte’s The Roe Head Journal. This snippet, on p.168-9, is published in The Brontes – Tales of Glass Town, Angria and Gondal. Selected Writings Oxford, OUP 2010, edited with notes by Bronte scholar Christine Alexander.
As a young student teacher at Roe Head School, miles away from her Haworth parsonage home from 1835-38, Charlotte Bronte was partly exiled through the demands of her teaching work from her full part in the fictional Imagi-Nations that her brother Branwell and sisters Emily and Anne had created together. Her frustration is obvious!
“No more. I have not time to work out the vision. A thousand things were connected with it, a whole country, statesman and kings, a revolution, Thrones and princedoms subverted and reinstated.” Section 3, the Roe Head Journal, Charlotte Bronte.
I like the arch, snarky irreverent tone of Charlotte’s narrators like Charles Townsend casting scorn on the elsewhere heroic struggles of her brother or sisters’ creations, in this case the character Zamorna (also known as King of Angria, Marquis of Douro and fictional son of the Bronte’s fictional Duke of Wellington).
The Angrian Wars 1831-39
Compiled from notes in Christine Alexanders book (Oxford, 2010) and Heather Glen’s Tales of Angria (Penguin, 2006) further detail of clarification will be added as discovered.
According to Christine Alexander, in 1831 Zamorna was struggling to defeat an Insurrection or the Great Rebellion.
This was caused or led by one of Branwell Bronte’s main characters, the balding former pirate, drover, gambler and serial seducer Northangerland (also known as Alexander Percy, Ellrington or Rogue) that is part of the First Angrian War of March 1831. This flares up again in 1832 by Northangerland’s renewed insurrection or Rebellion in The North (Sneakysland). Northangerland may have been aided at this time by the shadowy figure of Sir Jehu Macterrorglen (formerly cloth trader Jeremiah Simpson).
Zamorna leads a Constitutionalist Army, aided by Fidena, Wellesley and Warner Howard Warner, overthrowing his rival Northangerland’s Republican or French Revolutionary Government in the Glass Town capital Verdopolis.
This revolutionary situation, along with most of the wars, was Branwell’s creation, his earlier chosen characters included a version of Napoleon.
1833/34 The War of Encroachment
In 1833/4 the War of Encroachment saw the Ashantee tribes to the East of Verdopolis attack Verdopolis, Angria and the other allied countries of the Great Glass Town Federation. It is fought mainly in ‘the East’ around the city of Angria and provinces of Northangerland and Zamorna, after whom Zamorna and Northangerland are named Duke and Earl respectively once victorious.
Zamorna and Northangerland have a love-hate relationship throughout the Angrian sagas but during the War of Encroachment are working together against external threats and encroachment.
The Ashantee tribe were joined by Arab Troops from the North (the Sahara desert and Jibell Kimmri or the Mountains of the Moon above Sneakysland and Angria) and the French troops (from offshore island / colony of Frenchyland) led by a “Napoleon” figure.
The French troops are also led by General Massena, Commander of French Forces against Verdopolis. Massena later returns to campaign with Ardrah and Northangerland against Zamorna.
The Battle of Velino near Freetown was a decisive battle in the War of Encroachment c. November / December 1833. Velino and the Velino Hills was Headquarters for Fidena’s troops during this war. Popular Angrian Field Marshall (and horseman “The Chevalier”) Sir Frederic Lofty, Earl of Arundel (Arundel the Angrian Province) was thought to have died or become missing in action during this battle. His younger brother Macara Lofty adopts his title and becomes active in the Verdopolitan Government under the Reformist Ardrah.
Zamorna was assisted in defeating the Ashantees by Joachim Murat, the flower of French chivalry who was rewarded with a post as an Angrian Minister (named after Napoleon’s cavalry commander).
Zamorna ‘s role in suppressing this invasion led to him being granted in parliament on 9 February 1834 the disputed land to the East of Verdopolis, a new kingdom of Angria where he is to be known as King of Angria.
Angria is eventually formally added as a Kingdom (after parliamentary battles) to the Glass Town Federation, which became known as The Verdopolitan Union.
Percy (or Rogue / Ellrington as he was formerly known) is rewarded for his role in defeating the Ashantee threat. He gets to be known as (the Duke of) Northangerland and is appointed the Angrian Prime Minister under Zamorna as King.
As in Russian novels and literature (War and Peace, Chekhov plays) what gets confusing in the Bronte sagas is the complex relationship between characters and the many names and honorary titles that they acquire over time and to different people.
1835-37 – The Second Angrian War
December 1835 Angria is expelled from the Verdopolitan Union by Ardrah and his Reform Party.
1835 – Northangerland as a Prime Minister is denounced as a traitor and forced to resign his seals of office by Zamorna.
1836. Verdopolitan Union plunged into Civil War! Angria is expelled from the Verdopolitan Union! Zamorna outlawed to his remote Hawkscliffe estate in the Sydenham foothills Northern in Angria! Or outlawed to the Ascension Isles …
By March 1836 – half of Angria is “in possession of our foes”.
Adrianpolis in Angria is invaded by Ashantee Forces under Quashia Qamina, briefly an ally of the Verdopolitan Government ruled by Zamorna’s ally Ardrah and His Reform Ministry.
Arthur, the Marquis of Ardrah and Prince of Parrysland, was a Commander or Admiral in the Verdopolitan Navy. Leader of the Reformist Party in Verdopolis, Ardrah was opposed to Zamorna and the creation of the Kingdom of Angria.
The Marquis of Harlaw, Edward Tut Ross, son of John King of Rossland, is one of Ardrah’s allies against Zamorna in the civil wars. Another of Percy ‘Rogue’ Northangeralnd’s Colonels in the Rebel Army is Arthur O’Connor, former cattle dealer.
Civil war between Angria and the Verdopolitan Union is happening at the same time as the Ashantee threat.
June 1836 – Zamorna is defeated at the Battle of Edwardston in Angria on the 26 June 1836, leaving his country to be marauded by the victorious Ashantees, Arabs and the Provisional Government of Northangerland.
At Edwardston, Zamorna’s forces are defeated, losing 18,000 men (Captured? Killed? Wounded?) against the assembled forces of MacTerrorGlen, Massena, Quashia’s Ashantees and Lord Jordon / Sheik Medina’s Arabs.
Native Angrian hero, Squire of Ardsley in Angria, George Turner Grey (as described in the novelette The Return of Zamorna) called his tenantry around him after the Battle of Edwardston for a memorable last stand, to the motto “Ardsley to the Van!”
“The Angrian army … ruined, the Angrian nation enslaved and the Angrian King disgraced.” (Five Novelettes)
From June 1836 to September / autumn 1836, Northangerland was in control of the new French style Provisional Government of the Grand Republican Union (formerly the Verdopolitan Union). He has direct control over Angria where his allies (Ashantees,French and Bedouin forces) wreak a reign of terror. The Arab troops are led by Lord Jordon, in Byronic ‘Turkish’ dress and known as Sheik Medina.
Further bickering between Northangerland and Zamorna (now his son-in-law) about family and government seemed to have led to this further Republican rebellion by Northangerland against Zamorna.
July 1836 – Northangerland’s troops storm Rivaulx near Hawkscliffe on the edge of a royal forest, a hunting lodge where some of Zamorna’s family and followers are sheltering. One of Zamorna’s young sons Ernest Fitz-Arthur is captured and killed.
Zamorna has been deposed into exile after The Battle of Edwardston by Northangerland, but is rescued or reinstated by Constitutionalist Forces in December 1836.
August to October 1836 – Constitutionalist allies of the deposed Zamorna fight on, Fidena and Warner Howard Warner fight on in the hills, whilst Angrian Commander in Chief the Italian general Henri Fernando Di Enara ‘The Tiger’ fights on at Fort Gazemba.
Warner Howard Warner, governor of an Angrian province and then Prime Minister of Angria, appears to have waged a guerrilla war with his “blackguards and boors” in the Yorkshire Moor-like Olympian Hills of Angria, in support of Zamorna. He rallies the “War worn” troops of Angria to avenge Zamorna’s dead son Ernst Fitz-Arthur.
The Constitutional Forces of the former Verdopolitan Government (under Wellington and Fidena) eventually retake Verdopolis where Northangerland had his capital in December 1836.
Zamorna returns from exile in December 1836.
January to June 1837 – Northangerland’s retreating allies are routed by forces loyal to Zamorna. The Revolutionary troops of Northangerland that invaded Angria were routed at the Battle of Leyden near Alnwick in Angria and at the Battle of Westwood.
1837 – the Battle of Leyden. Zamorna and his troops won a victory over the Ashantee forces of Quashia, Montmorenci, MacTerrorGlen’s troops and the Arab troops of Lord Jordon / Sheik Medina. The battle is fought around the Village of Leyden near Alnwick in Angria.
Branwell Bronte’s narrator figure Captain Henry Hastings (Angrian soldier, poet and historian) has deserted from Zamorna’s own 19th Regiment (“The Devil’s Own”) and is now fighting against Zamorna.
General Lord Edward Hartford and Captain Sir William Percy (an officer in the Angrian 10th Hussars ) fought on Zamorna’s side against Northangerland. Sir William Percy is Northangerland’s disowned second son.
Zamorna’s enemy Lord Jordan (Sheik Medina) is killed in the battle.
1837 – The Battle of Westwood – Zamorna and troops rout Northangerland’s army of Montmorenci and MacTerrorGlen’s troops.
In the muddled chronology of Angria and its Civil Wars, this may be situation that Saunderson (Fidena) and the Narrator may be discusssing in the exceprt above, round about March 1837, according to Heather Glen.
One of the Angrian’s most infamous infantry regiments are The Bloodhounds (Glen, p. 501) led by the Italian ‘Tiger’ Enara.
“A host of Dark whiskered and bearded warriors such looks of savage and relentless ferocity I never held before … their great Raven banner bore in silver blazonry the single emphatic syllable. “DEATH” at their head … accompanied by 8 vast liver coloured dew lapped red eyed bloodhounds held in leashes stood the second commander of their Army Colonel Henry Fernando Enara. (Branwell Bronte, Angria and the Angrians)
Zamorna had some unusual generals including Henri Fernando di Enara, an Italian known as ‘the Tiger’, whom he created Baron of Etrei and Governor of this Angrian savanna province of Etrei. Other generals include Sir John Kirkwall and Frederic Lord Lofty.
Gazemba, June 1837 – The troops are reviewed before the final Battle of Evesham by Zamorna at Gazemba, a frontier town (population 59,000) in the desert on the East bank of the Calabar River. The Calabar river also links back to his capital Adrianpolis and Fort Adrian his mansion / fortified castle on its east Bank. The Calabar River has its source in burning and desolate and hostile African desert. Gazemba was the centre of Zamorna’s operations against the Ashantees.
Zamorna finally achieve peace using Angrian troops to defeat Northangerland and his retreating Allies during the ‘Campaign for the West’ at the Battle of Evesham, 30 June 1837 on the banks of the Angrian River of Cirhala.
Led by General Thornton and Zamorna, Angrian troops and their allies retake Evesham, despite the town being fortified by Northangerland’s Revolutionary troops.
General Wilson / Wilkin Thornton, an Angrian farmer with a strong Yorkshire accent, became Commander in Chief of the Angrian Army. He was an ally of Zamorna, related through his marriage to Julia Wellesley, Zamorna’s cousin.
Northangerland is exiled to Monkeysland. For a while …
1838 – Angria is at peace, Zamorna’s enemies scattered. Northangerland returns to his country seat and third wife.
1839 – January / February – disgraced soldier Captain Henry Hastings makes an attempt on Zamorna’s life, having drunkenly already killed his superior officer and deserted to the enemy in Paris.
21-23 February 1839 – Zamorna and Northangerland are publicly reunited at his Zamorna Palace in Adrianoplos in Angria, despite angry crowds who blockade the place when they discover Northangerland is there.
This timeline was pieced together from the notes in Christine Alexander’s and Heather Glen’s editions of the Bronte’s early works.
Plenty of imaginative gaming scenarios should present themselves, based on the Angrian and Glass Town sagas of a mixed Colonial Central West Africa / European fusion, along with the North and South Pacific islands of Gondal and Gaaldine.
They were written by the Bronte family at a time (1820s – 1850s) of European Insurrection, nation building and independence, Latin American revolution, industrial revolution, strange alliances, Civil Wars and colonial expansion and exploration. This was the post-Napoleonic background that the Brontes were growing up in and reading about in journals and newspapers.
Charlotte’s quick character sketch of Saunderson
Mr. Saunderson is later revealed to be John Sneachie, Duke of Fidena, speaking under an assumed name of “John of The Highlands”, Sneachisland or Sneakysland being one of the Glass Town Federation Imagi-Nations to the North West of Angria. It is the equivalent to the Scottish Highlands, albeit laid by Branwell and Charlotte Bronte over a fictional map of Central West Africa!
Many of the early settlers into this fictional colony are from Scotland and Yorkshire.
Saunderson is a dark haired, brooding character, with cane, black neckerchief and wearing a “blue surtout and Jane trousers” a Regency Trench Coat or Greatcoat with twill cotton trousers, or Jeans, according to The OED and Christine Alexander. How dashingly military today it still feels buying cavalry twill trousers, rather than jeans.
The narrator or the I is Charlotte Bronte and / or one of her many personas, her irreverent Angrian Narrator Charles Townsend.
Hopefully the bizarre tropical fusion of Africa with the Scottish Highland aspects of The Bronte Imagi- Nation settlers, the characters of Sanderson, MacTerrorGlen and such will allow kilted Scottish Highlander type troops to be used in gaming scenarios, albeit possibly in tropical dress. Scottish New Zealand troops and militia memorably wore of fashioned kilts for bush fighting and River wading during the later Maori Wars.
There is even the rogue Scotsman, MacTerrorGlen, leader of a drunken Scots brigade and leader of the Verdopolitan Reform Army fighting with Ardrah and the Ashantees against Zamorna’s and the Angrians. Known as Sir Jehu MacTerrorGlen (a reinvention of himself from his other life, as a roguish linen trader Jeremiah Simpson). After the defeat at the battle of Evesham, MacTerrorGlen is hunted down by Captain William Percy and the Angrian Government Police.
Having recently acquired several other Bronte books, including the encyclopaedic The Oxford Companion to The Brontes and Heather Glen’s edited edition of Charlotte Bronte’s Tales of Angria, there looks to be plenty more details of places, characters and events to flesh out the maps and timeline for future gaming scenarios.
Previous Bronte inspired Gaming blog posts