Highlighting Historical Romance: Mike Lord tells us about the emperor.
I came to Vietnam in 1997 to work on a poverty reduction project in a mountainous province about 150 miles from Hanoi. I wanted to read as much of the history as I could find in English of the country in which I was working, and found a book by the late Dr Nguyen Khac Vien, a Francophone Grand Prize winner in 1992, which gave me a lot of information and pointed me in the right direction.
I was a bit restricted in travel in those days, but was fascinated by the various dynasties and ruling families. Out of these I isolated the Princess Le Ngoc Han, because I am romantic at heart, who was the youngest daughter of the Le Emperor at that time, Le Hien Tong.
The princess was married at the age of sixteen to Nguyen Hue, the victorious military leader, who declared himself Emperor Quang Trung – my novel explains why.
As I was writing I was startled by several historians who wanted to ignore Quang Trung because they said that the marriage of the Princess to the Emperor was ‘forced’ on her by her father. This intrigued me as in Asia there are many arranged marriages, even to this day, although probably not in Vietnam.
The upshot was that the Princess was devastated when Quang Trung died at the age of 40, and she wrote several wonderful poems of lament, before she herself died at the age of 29.
About the Book
History records that the rulers in Vietnam, in particular many of the Mandarins in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, taxed and imposed penalties on peasant farmer families at exorbitant rates.
The Tay Son rebellion was created to overcome these mandarins, and restore land to the village families. The Tay Son Era comprises a large chunk of the history in Vietnam, some hundred years before the French annexation of the country in the mid nineteenth century.
The author examines some of the individuals involved – Nguyen Hue the military leader, Le Hien Tong the penultimate Le Emperor and his family, and the villagers who made up the local army to defend the invasion of the Tsing from Beijing in 1788.
This novel is basically a romance story. The youngest daughter of Le Hien Tong was Princess Le Ngoc Han, and she was married to Nguyen Hue who declared himself Emperor Quang Trung to defeat the Tsing invasion.
Read the details of personal relationships, battles and development of the country at that time.
Buy Links: The Princess who fell in love with an Emperor!
Mike Lord has worked for over 50 years in what is called “developing economies”. Most of the time Mike’s work has been with the thousands of small scale farmers, who have appreciated sustainable livelihoods, so that they now have enough food to feed themselves, and also some to sell so that they have a cash income. That is why most of Mike’s novels are set in these countries and especially the remote locations.
Three years ago Mike finally retired and started writing, and has now produced 32 fantasy romance books nine of which have been published, and 23 self-published at Smashwords and Amazon KDP.
Mike only writes about places he knows.