How Do Stories Increase Your Empathy for Others?

“With careful research and considerable grace, Child from the Sea is a masterful tale woven around a life that was shrouded in mystery.”

Thanks to Michele for an excellent review of The Child from the Sea and a lovely overview of Elizabeth Goudge’s legendary talent for writing.

Living Our Days

Time has a way of eroding the sharp edges of a story. Details become foggy and the setting becomes indistinct. Fully alive, three-dimensional characters may lose their identity in stereotype, becoming mere placeholders in their own story.

This was the case for Lucy Walter, the heroine in Elizabeth Goudge’s Child from the Sea. Born in 17th century Wales, Lucy met the young prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and young love blossomed. History has cast Lucy in the role of Charles II’s mistress, but Goudge dove into the historical record and reached a different conclusion:

What if the lore that Lucy and Charles had been secretly married is true?

In a context in which the dalliances of royalty were accepted as a matter of course and the marriage of a royal to a commoner was so unthinkable that Lucy would have been without recourse if the young king…

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