History mystery

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A BURNTISLAND mystery is at the centre of a new novel set to hit bookshops next week.

The novel, by Doctor Jenny Stanton, is a modern tale with a historical twist, set in Fife and based around the tale of ‘The Blessing of Burntisland’, a 17th century treasure barge which sunk in the Forth.

And while historians have known the treasure on board the boat - owned by King Charles I - sank to the bottom of the estuary with the shipwreck, the novel sets its sights on the vivid story of the spirits that sank with it.

And despite never having visited Burntisland before the idea for her first novel came to her, Jenny, a medical historian, spent more than 10 years researching and visiting the Kingdom.

“Somebody gave me a press cutting about the supposed finding of the wreck some time ago,” she told the Press.

Dowser

“There was a group of people looking for it and at one point they brought in a dowser, which just clicked with me - I was intrigued by the idea and thought it was so interesting.

“I knew there were two survivors of the wreck, and so I began to wonder what it would be like if this dowser could contact them. Everything just began from there.”

‘The Blessing of Burntisland’ tells the story of Joe Fairlie, a treasure dowser who locates the famous ferry in the Forth.

Dreams

However, once he has triumphed in his discovery, Joe begins to have waking dreams that plunge him into the life of one of the wreck’s survivors, court doctor Thomas Newbolt.

What follows is Joe’s quest to find a musical instrument that will enable him to reject Newbolt, and instead contact the only other survivor, magical boy Robbie.

“When you write a book you are using your imagination,” Jenny continued, “but the trip to Burntisland and to Falkland Palace was very interesting - it made it all very real and I’d love to go back to Fife.”

‘The Blessing of Burntisland’ can be ordered from bookshops or online at www.karnacbooks.com.