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In Search of Sir Francis Drake
by Kathryn Gillett, Elizabethan England on Britannia
Parte the First - London
Romance, intrigue, adventure - not only what I hoped to include in my historical fiction novel about Sir Francis Drake - but also what I hoped to find during my research trip to England.
Being equal parts historian and romantic adventurer, I was longing to savor the moments of joy I feel when something transports me to long-ago places. So I devised a plan to travel through most of England in search of artifacts, parks, buildings, rooms - anything that would create that 'transporting' experience and help me write true-to-life details of Elizabethan England, especially as Drake and the people around him would have experienced them.
Due to the realities of time and work - as well as a keen desire to avoid crowds, I decided to make the trip in December. The first portion of my trip would be London. I would spend three days there, then rent a car and drive through about three-quarters of England for the rest of my two-week stay, seeking out the real-life dwellings, landscapes and artifacts I had uncovered during my book-based research in the States.
So it was with much anticipation that I landed at Heathrow. And with just as much enthusiasm, I wasted no time in starting my research after arriving at my B&B in South Kensington. I showered and freshened up as best I could - given my jet-lagged, energy-zapped condition - and excitedly, although somewhat dazedly, pushed myself out to see the first item on my itinerary: The National Portrait Gallery.
First Stop:National Portrait Gallery
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