Talk at Wauchope on Terry Stanton's book Deliver Me from Evil

Fours years of work: Terry Stanton's novel Deliver Me from Evil is based on the life of the Earl of Strafford.
Fours years of work: Terry Stanton's novel Deliver Me from Evil is based on the life of the Earl of Strafford.

A long-time fascination with an intriguing historical figure has resulted in a novel by Tinonee resident Terry Stanton.

Mr Stanton will talk about his novel, Deliver Me from Evil, at Port Macquarie Library on November 29 at 10.30am, followed by a talk at Wauchope Library at 2pm on the same day.

He will give an author talk at Laurieton Library at 10.30am on November 30.

Mr Stanton first came across the story of the Earl of Strafford during his school days in England.

“I became fascinated by history at school,” he said.

“I had a very inspiring teacher called Johnny Walker.  He taught 17th Century English and European History for the A Levels. 

“That was in 1959 to ‘61. I was fascinated by the story of the Earl of Strafford.  There was an excellent biography by CV Wedgewood written about 30 years before, which I read.  

“Just after I had taken the exams she published a new version which showed him in a somewhat different light,” he said.

The Earl of Strafford was Thomas Wentworth, who rose from relative obscurity to become an English statesman, and played a “tremendous” role in the lead up to the English Civil War.

He joined Parliament, was a supporter of King Charles I and had a strong authoritarian rule as the Lord Deputy of Ireland between 1632 and 1640.

He was called back to England by the King to help him fight the war, becoming a leading advisor.

In what followed, things went from bad to worse for Wentworth.

“It’s a fantastic story and the best part is the end of it,” Mr Stanton said. 

“It was how it ended that really attracted me as a boy at school.”

In 1995, Mr Stanton started writing the earl’s life story as a play and after moving to Australia in 2005 hired dramaturge Peter Matheson from Maclean who showed him what could be worked on.

He sent the play to a publisher in England, who gave him some feedback and direction, as well as telling him the play wouldn’t be published unless there had been a professional production.

“I had no idea how to get it performed,” he said.

“I approached an agent who said they were too busy with existing clients, so it went on the backburner for a few years.”

Four years ago Mr Stanton read a biography and decided the earl’s life story would make a good novel.

“I did a huge amount of research and had piles of papers and books,” he said.

“I’ve told the story as accurately as I can, based on the research.”

His friend Michael Davies, of the Mickie Dalton Foundation, helped Mr Stanton publish his book on Amazon. 

Call 65818 755 to book your place at the author talk or email portlib@mnclibrary.org.au