I’ve pointed out several times that ‘The doe and the Dragon’ incorporates myths and legends from Arthurian North Wales. It also includes one story that has little to do with Wales, but which gave inspiration for one of the events in the novel.
The Napoleonic Wars are separated from Arthur by a thousand years, and then some, but there one event from the Napoleonic era that I couldn’t resist slipping into the novel. Legend is that a French ship was wrecked off the coast of Hartlepool, in north-east England. The only survivor was the ship’s monkey, who was dressed in a French uniform, and, naturally, spoke gibberish that the people of Hartlepool didn’t understand.
The locals hung the monkey as a French spy, and since then the good people of Hartlepool have been known – with varying degrees of affection - as ‘Monkey Hangers’.
The story may or may not be true, but I couldn’t resist having a couple of monkeys mistaken for the enemy by a naive character in ‘The Doe and the Dragon’. Of course, I don’t have the monkeys hung, they end up…well, you’ll just have to read the book!