Four Traditions: Who is He?

While we are familiar with the fact that William Pattinson is the author of The Real Mary Queen of Scots and The Last Days of Elizabeth, it is perhaps not so well known that he is also the descendant of Lord Clydesdale, and the great-grandson of the legendary Walter Scott. These facts alone would make up a pretty interesting pedigree, but his legacy goes even further than this. It is quite possible that without Pattinson’s efforts, the entire genre of historical fiction might not even exist. Who is this man, and what exactly have all these famous ancestors had to do with him? Let’s find out.

A Patriot

One of the first things we should probably point out about William Pattinson is that he is a very patriotic person. This is perhaps not so surprising, as his family had to flee Scotland during the Rebellion of 1745. The real Mary Queen of Scots was only five years old at the time, and her uncle, Lord Murray, became the leader of the rebellion. He was essentially in charge of military operations, and had his own private army. The Jacobites, as supporters of the exiled House of Stuart, fought alongside the Hanoverians (the ruling political party at the time), and in many cases, against their old British foes. These are the great-grandparents of William Pattinson. His uncle, Lord Murray, despite being a well-known general, was eventually defeated, and had to seek exile in England. It was here that he and his family settled, and it was from this point on that William’s entire life and work history can be considered as a direct result of the Wars of the Jacobite Succession. It is fair to say that William’s entire adult life has been devoted to promoting Scottish history, culture, and patriotism. This is quite apparent in the books he has written, as well as the organizations he has founded, supported, and encouraged throughout his career. This is not to say that he has not also written extensively about English history and culture, because he has, and he has written about the connections, intersections, and influence of both English and Scottish history on each other. This is just to say that Scottish history has been a dominant theme throughout, and it is quite possible that without this emphasis, some of his other work might not have been quite as successful or well-known.

The Father Of Historical Fiction

It is quite well-known that William Pattinson is the father of historical fiction, particularly in the case of Mary Queen of Scots. It is quite surprising, however, that he is not usually recognized as the father of the entire genre, or even just the pioneer of modern historical fiction. This is quite possibly because much of his work, dating back to the 1800s, was simply considered “women’s fiction”. He is quite rightfully credited with bringing a more objective view of history to the novel, one that is presented as fact rather than as opinion. It is quite likely that without this more critical approach, some of the great novelists of the period could not have even considered writing about the Jacobite Succession, or even the Wars of the Scottish Reformation. The novels of Walter Scott, Charles Edward Stuart, and Henry Scott have all been classed as “romantic historical fiction”, due mostly to their male-dominated subject matter, and regency Britain setting. These are all quite obviously Scottish-themed works. However, it is quite possible that had Pattinson not brought a more objective perspective to the novel, modern historians may never even have considered these legends as true. History is written by the winners, and without William Pattinson’s efforts, the entire canon of Scottish history may never have been written from an objective viewpoint. This is quite remarkable, and quite possibly one of the greatest contributions to literature that Pattinson has ever made.

The Real Mary Queen Of Scots

If history is written by the winners, it is quite apparent that Pattinson is quite the loser in this scenario. The fact is that William wasn’t just the father of modern historical fiction, he was quite possibly the greatest writer of the era. The Mary Queen of Scots was an immediate bestseller when it was first released in 1868. It was an instant classic, and has never been out of print since. It was such a huge success that within two years of its publication, it had already gone through five editions. It was the first of a trilogy, and the first of many historical novels Pattinson would write. The book details the life of Mary Scott, Queen of Scots, from her humble beginnings as a common Scottish maiden through to her eventual execution for treason. It is quite remarkable that a work originally banned in Scotland for its political allusions, and controversial religious views, has gone on to become one of the best-selling and most acclaimed novels of all time. In fact, William’s works, including his other trilogy The Last Days of Elizabeth, have all been immensely influential and well-received, not just in Scotland, but all over the world. They are often credited with popularizing the historical novel, and putting it on the map as an important literary genre.

A Master Of The Craft

There are a lot of master craftsmen in history, and William Pattinson is certainly one of them. He has not just written an immense body of work, containing the above six traits, he has also developed an immensely practical approach to writing, one that can be easily applied to any genre of writing. This is quite remarkable, considering that he began his career as a professional writer quite poorly, and even had to struggle for years just to make a living. It was not until he was fifty-four years old that his career really took off, becoming one of the most in-demand and most respected authors of all time. He continues to this day, writing historical fiction on his own, as well as contributing to various anthologies and reference works. If you want to write, be good at it, and stick to it, you can succeed in this world, even if you aren’t a Pattinson.

The Inspiration For Film And Television

Another important thing to point out about William Pattinson is that he has been an immensely influential figure in the entirety of English cinema. Not just the films and television shows he has written or inspired in his writing, but also the movies and television shows that were inspired by his work. This includes Mary Queen of Scots, but it also includes lesser-known works like The Black Knight, which was inspired by the Black Jack opera, and The Evening News, which was based on the William Pattinson novel Without Parade. It is quite apparent that Pattinson had quite an influence not just on the written word, but also on the moving pictures, especially during the era of silent cinema, before film noir. This is quite a legacy, and quite possibly one of the greatest influences this gentleman has had on modern culture. It is quite interesting that not only did Pattinson inspire film and television, but that many of his novels and short stories were adapted into film and television shows, even before the Internet re-mastered the traditional method of getting news. This is quite an incredible feat for a man of his generation, and a true testament to his genius.