A former Harrogate teacher is in the enviable position of finding his new historical novel flavour of the moment.
Set around the lives of three legendary 18th century figures, Dennis Brickles says his new book Beauty and Glory was inspired by his long-held interest in the myths and legends round Lady Emma Hamilton, Sir William Hamilton and Lord Nelson.
By sheer chance, this particular chapter in history has come into vogue with a major exhibition on the life of Emma Hamilton currently being held at the National Maritime Museum.
Harrogate resident Dennis said: “I’ve always been fascinated by Nelson and the Hamiltons and their famous ‘menage a trois’. How could such a man of action become so enslaved to another man’s wife that he neglected his duty?”
A direct descendent of Lady Hamilton herself has given the book a glowing review.
Dennis said: "“It took me three years to write Beauty and Glory and about a year to get it published.
"Lily Style, a direct descendant of the only surviving child born to Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton, wrote a review in which she stated: “’Beauty and Glory’ was a joy to read and left me feeling I had physically met the protagonists.””
Before becoming an author, Dennis worked as a teacher for 34 years in Liverpool, Settle and, finally, Harrogate.
Having co-written a musical play called The Iron Way about the Settle-Carlisle railway, his first published novel Batty Green was set in the Yorkshire Dales between 1869 and 1876 with most of the action located at Ribblehead.
Before the ex-teacher wrote Beauty and Glory, which is published by Oakdale Books, he was also inspired by a 19th century painting owned by Harrogate’s Mercer Gallery.
Called Seascape with Figures in a Boat, it shows Lady Hamilton waving farewell to Nelson.
Dennis’s book has been described as “a novel in which passionate ambition mingles with passionate love as seminal figures of the time strive for status, prestige and power”