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BOOKS

THE DRUG OF HOPE

LOCATION DESCRIPTIONS:

Locations have been divided into the present day and the fourteen century locations and only cover the major scenes in the novel not every location mentioned.

PRESENT DAY

Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
 

Bradford is at the centre of the City of Bradford Metropolitan Council, a borough of West Yorkshire, in the North of England in the United Kingdom (UK). Situated in the foothills of the Pennines it is approximately 9 miles from Leeds which together as Leeds-Bradford form the third largest urban area in the UK after Manchester and London with a population of 2.4 million

Bradford came to prominance in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution as the international centre of textile manufacture particularly wool. It was known as the “Wool Capital of the World” and still has the “Wool Exchange” situated at the heart of the city where once nearly all wool was traded. Since the demise of the wool trade Bradford has become very much a tourist destination with attractions like the National Media Museum, Cartwright Hall, Salts Mill, Lister Mill and Saltair Heritage Sites.

Lister Mill

Lister Mill

Central Bradford is surrounded by rolling lush countryside with wonderful small towns all packed with historical significance and wonderful pretty town centres. Amongst these is Haworth home of the Bronte sisters, Ilkley with perhaps the most famous restaurant, the “Box Tree” and Harrogate a wonderful market town with Betty’s (the best cake shop in the world). The city itself is divided into 30 wards and scenes in the book are set in two prominent wards Heaton and Manningham.

Bradford

Salts Mill


Heaton has a number of significant buildings, Lister’s Mill and Lister’s Park, the University Of Bradford School Of Management, Bradford Grammar School (one of the best schools in the UK) and a number of Grade I and II listed private houses once owned by important people during the Industrial Revolution. The author himself once lived in such a house in Park Drive in Heaton.

The local Catholic Church St. Cuthbert and First Martyrs Bradford was attended by the author regularly and four of his children were baptized, had their first communion and were confirmed at the church by Richie Cronin, the then local priest (sadly now deceased). The church and the priest’s house were used in the story and the character Richie O’Conner is partly based on Richie Cronin, but obviously all the negative aspects are fictitious.

St, Cuthberts’ Church

St, Cuthberts’ Church

The Midland Hotel, (used in the book) is located in the heart of Bradford and was built between 1885 and 1890 by the Midland railway Company. It has some of the finest Victorian interiors in the city and has been used extensively by the author and his family. His daughter Rachael married her husband Charles Mackenzie at the Hotel in 2004.

The Box Tree in Ilkley is regarded by the author as one of the finest restaurants in the world and has won worldwide acclaim over the years for its menu, service and setting. Serving a French classical menu, with an extensive wine cellar the restaurant is currently run by Simon and Rina Gueller. The restaurant was originally opened by Malcolm Reid and Colin Long in 1963 and won two Michelin stars to its name. Since then it has had a distinguished list of famous chefs each winning awards and praise for their cuisine. The restaurant is housed in Yorkshire stone farmhouse dating from 1720 and is furnished very much as you would furnish a Victorian house. The author has long been a regular visitor each time he returns to West Yorkshire to visit his family.

The Manningham District in Bradford is largely populated by Muslims whose descendents are from the Indian continent mainly from Kashmir. With the second highest crime rate in the country Bradford and Manningham is synonymous with population unrest and crime. The area depicted in the book Manningham Lane is renowned for prostitutes and drug users and anybody driving along that road late at night will see both. Yet surprisingly Manningham appears in the English Heritage Guide as both Lister Mill and Lister Park are partly in Manningham and border the more prosperous Heaton area. The district has also numerous Victorian properties populating small squares and crescents all lovingly restored by residents.

Lister Park

Lister Park

London, England
 

London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. As the UK’s largest and most populated city its history goes back to the Romans who called it Londinium. The author has been visiting London for business and pleasure most of his life and his daughter Ruth lives in Central London.
The Naval and Military Clubs (often referred to as the Officers Club) is a gentlemen’s club in London and used to be restricted to military officers. This is no longer the case but the club is largely ex military men although now ladies are also permitted. The Club now based at 4 St. James Square, dates back to 1726 and was designed by the architect Edward Shepherd, The club is used in the book as a meeting point by David York on two occasions.

Grosvenor House (Main Lobby)

Grosvenor House (Main Lobby)

The Grosvenor is one of London’s finest hotels and is located right near Victoria Railway station and is quite near to the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. The hotel which is Victorian, has the Grosvenor Lounge one of the author’s favourite locations for afternoon tea and cake and the Chez Gerard Restaurant. With superb rooms and suites it is used by David York has his place of residence whilst in the UK.

 The Savoy

 The Savoy Hotel

The Savoy Hotel is Located on The Strand in Central London near the city of Westminster. The hotel was built by Richard D’Oyly Carte in 1889 and owned by the family for over a century. The Savoy Restaurant is usually referred to as the Savoy Grill and in 1890 been famous for its inventive chefs and elegant dining. Even today elegant dining includes formal afternoon tea with choral and other performances particularly at Christmas time. The author has long been a fan of the Savoy Grill and uses the location as a meeting place for David York in the book.

The Coutts Bank at 440 Strand is often referred to as the Queen’s bank and customer’s cheque books, credit, debit and cash cards display the distinctive royal crest of three crowns in the logo. The three crowns however stem from 1692 when a young scot John Campbell established the bank under the sign of the three crowns in the Strand in London as Campbell’s Bank. The bank became synonymous with the wealthy during the period starting in 1761 when Thomas Coutts entered the business. Thomas had three daughters nicknamed the Three Graces who married the Earl of Guilford, the Marques of Bute and Sir Francis Burdett and this very much influenced the wealthy to bank at Coutts. The bank had a policy at one time of inviting wealthy clients from other banks, in its group (it is now part of the Royal bank of Scotland) to use its wealth investment advice. The author was invited several years ago to open an account and has maintained an account ever since, as well as several other banks. Coutts is used in the story by David York to obtain a large sum of cash very quickly, something the author has also done in one occasion at the bank.

Centre Point
Centre Point

Centre Point is a substantial concrete and glass office building located at 101-103 New Oxford Street and was built in 1966. The building remained empty for many years and many people considered it a white elephant. The building was bought in 2005 for 1 billion UK pounds (1 and a half billion US dollars) and is now fully let.

The author uses Centre point as the headquarters of Roland Goldsmith’s financial empire in his novel.

   
Markyate Hertfordshire, England
 

The author owned and lived at the Church House in Markyate located at 1 High Street in Hertfordshire in England where Joseph Peters lives as the local Church of England Priest in the Drug of Hope novel.

The house built in red brick has been extended several times and has two cellars, two main floors and an attic level. The ground floor and first floor have natural wood floors, with original ceilings, Victorian fire places, wooden doors and brass door knobs. There is a spacious dining room, sitting room, family room, and kitchen on the ground floor. The second floor has three bedrooms, two en suite and a family bathroom. The attic level has one large bedroom, a small box room and a large bathroom (which was installed by the author). Outside there is a garage and rear and side gardens all enclosed with a brick wall.

Markyate House

The Church House, 1 High Street, Markyate

Markyate is situated on the A5 (the old Roman Road) north of junction 9 from the M1 Motorway.

In medieval times there was a Benedictine nunnery established by Christia. Today the same location has the St. John the Baptist, Markyate Parish Church which still has some original Tudor parts intact.
The main street , the High Street has a number of Grade II listed buildings dating back over several hundred years. The street has number of restaurants, pubs, general stores and a Post Office and can be walked end to end in less than fifteen minutes.

   
The Isle of Skye, Scotland
 

The Isle of Skye is located off the west coast of Scotland and is sometimes referred to as Eilean a’Cheo (the Misty Isle). The largest of the Inner Hebrides it is renowned for its natural beauty and wildlife. It has a population of just over 9,000 people.

Restored Blackhouse

Restored Blackhouse

The Isle of Skye was first inhabited around 7,000BC at An Corran in Staffin and has one of the oldest archaeological sites in Scotland. Saint Columbo is reputed to have visited the island in the 7th century and the Vikings invaded and ruled Skye in the 9th century.

Scottish clan influences in the Island were MacLeod, MacDonald and MacKinnon. Dunvegun Castle has been the seat of the clan MacLeod since the 13th century and has been inhabited by a single family longer than any other house in Scotland. Amadale Castle once the home of Clan MacDonald was abandoned as a residence in 1925.

Dunvegon Castle

Dunvegon Castle

The largest employer in the Island is the government and tourism is also important to the economy. Crofting is very important in the island and over 2,000 exist in the Island but only about 100 are large enough to support a family. (Crofting is essentially a tenant farmer). The Drug of Hope uses of Croft family location in the novel.

The Culin Ridge

The Culin Ridge

Skye is actually linked to the mainland by the Skye Bridge but in The Drug of Hope the bridge does not exist and the small aerodrome at Ashaig near Broadford becomes pivotal to the story. Many ferry services also exist to link the island to the mainland. The location of Bethlehem in the book is purely fictional.

Portree, Isle of Skye

Portree, Isle of Skye

14th Century

Avignon France
 

The Papacy was moved to Avignon, France from Rome in 1309 during the reign of Pope Clement V whilst Louis IV was King of France.

Clement V was Pope from 1305 to 1314. Born Raymond Bertrand de Cot, he was archbishop of Bordeaux in France and is often remembered for being responsible for his destruction of the Templars and for moving the seat of the Pope from Rome to Avignon. He was reputedly elected to Pope, following the binding of himself to the will of Louis the IV of France. Certainly, Clement V’s entire period as Pope followed the wishes of the French King.

Avignon is located in the left bank of the Rhine River about 360 miles southeast from Paris (580km), 142 miles (229km) south of Lyon and 53 miles (85km) northwest of Marseilles.

Palace of the Popes in Avignon

Avignon is situated in a large oval shaped city amidst great parks and gardens. The city is dominated by the large Gothic building the “Palais des Papes” which has walls between 17 - 18 feet thick and was built between 1335 - 1364 on a natural spur of rock rendering it all but impregnable to attack. It also has a very pretty square and several later buildings and minor churches which can be visted.

The setting in the book “The Drug of Hope” reflects on the historical decision of Louis IV of France to destroy the Templars largely to avoid his debts to the order and seize their vast fortune. Clement V is portrayed as a mere pawn in the story which is supported by most historians.

The author visited the location once when a software exhibition was held there in 1980’s.

The drawing of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon

Inverness, Scotland
 

Mc Callister is one of the several spelling of the clan MacAlister,  a branch of the clan Donald. There is confusion over who really is the founder of the clan and the true genealogy up to the early fourteen century. The name McAllister is use in the book two of “The Drug of Hope” as the name taken by Guy Du Bussen and in Books One and Two the direct descendent John McCallister also uses the clan name. Whilst the clan MacAlister are based now in Argyll the setting for the book is in Inverness which is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. The city is at the north eastern extremity of the Great Glen where the River Ness enters the Inverness Moray Firth making it a natural hub for various transport links.

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle sits in a cliff overlooking the River Ness and was built on 1836 on the site of an 11th century defensive structure. The castle in the book is therefore based on the imagined structure that existed in 1314 at the time of the conflict with the English.

Robert the Bruce directing soldiers at Bannockburn
Robert the Bruce directing
soldiers at Bannockburn

Robert the Bruce for whom Guy Du Busson fights for in the war of Scottish Independence against the Kingdom of England is a national hero of Scotland. Robert the Bruce claimed the throne of Scotland as a four-greats- grandson of David I of Scotland. After a long fight with English adopting guerrilla tactics for over eight years Robert gained independence militarily at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. It is believed that Templars formed part of the small force of cavalry under Sir Robert Keith and that the Templars distinguished themselves in the battle.

   
Newfoundland, Canada
 
Newfoundland

Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador is a Canadian Province in the eastern part of Canada, Many writers have affirmed that it was discovered by the Norsemen from Scandinavia in 1001. But it is largely credited to have been discovered by John Cabot in 1497. The Drug of Hope book asserts that knowledge of this earlier discovery was known by the Templars and used this knowledge to travel to Newfoundland.

Beothuk Women’s Clothing

Beothuk Women’s
Clothing

The Beothuk Indians were the original natives of Newfoundland and are believed to be extinct, as the last known members died in 1829. However as it is a likely member of the tribe travelled widely and integrated with settlers. The Drug of Hope proposes the tribe survived by this integration.
The Beothuks did not live in tepees but in wigwams which they called mamateeks. These were shaped wooden houses covered in birch bark. Beothuk women wore skirts and wrap around mantals and the men wore breechclout and leggings. For warmth they also wore a poncho like cloak with mittens, moccasins and a peaked cap. Uniquely they painted their faces, bodies, hair and costume bright red.

Beothuk Canoe

Beothuk Canoe

The Beothuks had distinctive humpbacked canoes that arched in the middle and fished and travelled with this along the coast. The Beothuks used snow shoes to travel in land as no horses existed until settlers arrived. The Beothuks fished with spears, gathered eggs and plants along the coast and hunted caribou and seals. The Beothuks’ weapons included spears, harpoons, bows and arrows and stone knives.

Beothuk House

Beothuk House

The Vikings called them Skraelings in the Vikings sagas and accurately described their canoes and dress proving beyond doubt they had visited Newfoundland in 1001.

The Holy Grail Is reported to be buried in Newfoundland at an unknown site.

   
Zurich, Switzerland
 
City of Zurich

City of Zurich

Switzerland’s very creation is attributed to a battle which occurred when three cantons faced the army of Duke Leopold of Hapsburg made up of 2,000 knights and 9,000 foot soldiers. Leopold had set out on an excursion not expecting very much resistance, as the cantons possessed no knights of any number and the unwritten rules of war were knights only fight knights.

The Swiss however, ignored the rules and using a halberd, a long pole used to bring down horses and pierce armour won the battle. It has been a long held belief the design of the halberd was an invention of the Knight Templars and that a small force of Templars guided the Swiss army in the defeat of Leopold.

In the story The Drug of Hope the main characters are changed and the battle is waged by an imaginary prince of Hapsburg Willem and the Swiss have a Leopold on their side as a leader. The pivotal role of the halberd however is used in the battle although the role of the Templar cavalry is also used, as it is imagined by the author they enticed the Austrian cavalry onto the halberd phallax.

Zurich, the capital of the Swiss canton of the same name (but not until 1351 and part of Uri in 1314) is the most important and finest city in Switzerland. It is built on the banks of the Limmat as it is issues from Lake Zurich and also of its tributary Sihi that joins it below the city. The men of Zurich are known to have fought at Morgarten against the Swiss confederation so in fact the canton was on the Austrian side, not like in story on the Swiss confederation side. This licence with the truth is used by the author to explain the establishment of the first bank in Zurich which today is based on a banking economy. It is probably true. That following the defeat of the Austrians concessions were made to the victors and as the Templars were effectively already bankers they probably set up business in Zurich money lending.

Kyburg castle

Kyburg castle

The historic Schloss Kyburg Castle is approximately 492 feet  (150 meters) above the River and is the best preserved castle in north eastern Switzerland. It is mentioned for the first time in 1027 as “Chuigeburg” (or Cow Castle) which indicates its use as a refuge stronghold. Hartmann von Dillingen acquired the castle by marriage and called himself Count of Kyburg. For over two hundred years the family ruled the area until Rudolf of Hapsburg secured Kyburg as his inheritance. The castle is used in the book as a stronghold of the fictious Swiss Leader Leopold.

Kyburg castle

 

 

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Background
Synopsis
Sample Chapter
Character Descriptions
Location Descriptions
Radio Interview
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