Time quake, p.35
TIME QUAKE, p.35Linda Buckley-Archer
As for the two brothers, the last remaining witnesses – along with myself – of these remarkable events, how will they go on to live their lives? What will Gideon and the Tar Man do with the knowledge that they gained and the memories that they still possess? As for me, I have not forgotten the promise that I – or rather an alternative version of myself – made to Kate as she was overcome by the ravages of time. I no longer hear my voice from a parallel world – how could I? For at the instant that Peter’s stone hit the window a multitude of universes calmly winked out of existence. Now I must learn to live with the ghosts of parallel worlds and the paradox that I can remember events which have not happened. I have become a witness, a living testimony to something that must not be. So I remain ever vigilant – for who knows how long it will be before Time itself is threatened again by our curiosity – or our greed.
Yet as I write these final sentences, I can safely say that Peter Schock and Kate Dyer go happily about their daily lives; that the Marquis de Montfaron never ceased conducting his experiments nor corresponding with the great and the good; that the professors of Princeton continue to conjecture about the What If ’s of History; and that the sun still shines down on the many castles of Manhattan. Indeed, I believe that I can say – or at least for now – that things are as they should be.
I first had the idea to write The Gideon Trilogy in June 2000 and said my final farewell to the characters I have grown to know so well in February 2009. Along the way these books have brought me into contact with people on both sides of the Atlantic whom I count myself privileged to have met and whom I would not have encountered otherwise: readers, publishers, agents, booksellers, writers, teachers and librarians.
I should firstly like to express my gratitude to the Arts and Humanities Research Council without whose support this project would have stalled in its early stages.
My profound thanks are due to Caradoc King, for his impeccable judgement and enthusiasm, and to all at the incomparable literary agency, A. P. Watt: Christine Glover, Elinor Cooper, Louise Lamont, Linda Shaughnessy, and Teresa Nicholls.
Much of the trilogy was written whilst undertaking research at the University of London and I shall always associate it with Goldsmiths College – my thanks to Professor Blake Morrison, Professor Chris Baldick, fellow novelist, Emma Darwin, and, above all, to the poet, Maura Dooley. It was during conversations with Maura that my approach to writing the trilogy was shaped. I am also very grateful to David Hunter, Imelda and Isadora for their timely and insightful notes. Thank you.
I have been privileged to work with editors from Simon & Schuster’s offices in both London and New York. A huge thank you, for their keen editorial eyes, to David Gale and Venetia Gosling. Many thanks, also, to Navah Woolfe for her editorial input, to Matt Pantoliano for introducing me to Fraunces Tavern in 2006 (and thereby planting the idea of sabotaging the Revolutionary War in the first place) and to David Gale and Laurent Linn for diagrams and advice on how to murder one of my favourite characters in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
I am indebted to Professor John M. Murrin, of Princeton University, who responded so generously to my question: ‘If you wanted to sabotage the American War of Independence (Revolutionary War), how would you go about it?’ Professor Murrin was good enough to propose several options for my counterfactual endeavour. Any historical errors and inaccuracies are, of course, wholly my own responsibility. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the Grafton family: to Professor Anthony Grafton for his advice on the sartorial habits of Princeton students, to Louise Grafton for showing me where General George Washington crossed the Delaware, and to Anna Grafton for giving me my first American history lesson at the NFT in London.
I am grateful to Dr Adrian and Christine Fowle for their advice and support, and to Heather Swain for her initial encouragement and for reading the first draft of The Time Quake. My thanks, as ever, to my friends at G.W. for listening to the work in progress: Stephanie Chilman, Jacqui Lofthouse, Louise Voss, Kate Harrison and Jacqui Hazell. And the final ‘thank you’ must go to R., L. and I. without whom there would not have been a story in the first place.
London, February 2009
Linda Buckley-Archer, TIME QUAKE
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