About the Author
J.T. Ross Jackson is a Canadian-born naturalized Danish citizen living in Copenhagen with his wife Hildur. They have three sons, Rolf, Thor and Frej. Ross earned his B.Sc. in Engineering Physics at Queen's University in Canada, and did post-graduate studies in the United States, where he received his M.S. in Industrial Management at Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Operations Research at Case Western Reserve University. What started as a visit to Denmark to get some international business experience in 1964 ended in a permanent move after he met Hildur. Most of his professional career has been as an independent management consultant, with a specialty in software development for financial institutions. In 1987, his long-standing interest in the environment and spirituality resulted in the founding, with Hildur and other Danish friends, of Gaia Trust - a charitable association that supports persons and organizations that are working for the transition to a sustainable planet. He has been chair of the group since that time. Gaia Trust's funds were earned from a commercial subsidiary, now sold off, which specialized in foreign exchange management, based on theories and software developed originally by Ross in the early 1980s.Gaia Trust's main project to date has been the establishment and support of GEN - the Global Ecovillage Network an international network of ecovillages, which are working models of sustainable living for the new millennium, integrating ecological, social and spiritual aspects into a holistic lifestyle.
"Shaker of the Speare; The Francis Bacon Story" is Ross' first novel. He has written two other books, on his spiritual journey and on why he supports the eco-village movement as an alternative to commercial globalisation.Ross is currently working on a book on why and how we must break away from the dominant neo-liberal economic system, which is systematically destroying both the environment and local communities across the world, while creating unacceptable and politically explosive inequities among world citizens.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
It was late afternoon when Axel knocked on his door while Robert Dudley was resting on his simple bed, waiting anxiously to hear what was happening. He could see from Axels face what was coming. We have received a message, sir. I am afraid you will not like it. Wyatt has been crushed. It is all over. There are many prisoners heading this way by barge from Westminster. We are going to be very crowded this evening. I have heard that there are so many prisoners that even The Tower, Marshalsea and Kings Bench together cannot hold them all. Oh, my God, said Dudley, as he sat down wearily on the edge of his bed, then we are all done for. I have also spoken to Lady Jane Grey. She has received the news of herself and Guildford, but does not wish to see anyone, not even Guildford. I conveyed to her Marys offer of a last visit with him, but she turned it down. She is a brave lady, sir. I know. She is a very noble person. Do you know what she said, sir? She said her presence would weaken rather than strengthen him, that he should take courage from reason and constancy from heart. She said they would meet in a better world where unions were indissoluble, and theirs would be eternal. I took her message to Guildford, and he cried. Sir, I feel sorry for her. She has the true nature of a Queen. Yes, Axel, she does. She is a genuine Tudor. The next few days were a continuing living nightmare for Robert Dudley as he witnessed through a small window a constant procession of his family, friends and allies to the block. One of the first was his brother Guildford. He cringed as his brothers severed head was held high with the traditional cry So perish all the Queens enemies. Behold, the head of a traitor. The next day it was Lady Janes turn. He watched as the seventeen-year old mounted the platform with regal dignity, accompanied by Queen Marys personal chaplain, Dr. Feckenham, and two ladies-in-waiting. Lady Jane addressed the large crowd that had gathered and recited the fifty-first psalm, then brushed aside help and made her away to the block, where she tied a handkerchief over her eyes. There followed a five minute silence, whereby officials awaited a possible last-minute reprieve from the Queen, and the gathered crowd asked themselves what this beautiful young lady had done to deserve such treatment. The executioner kneeled and asked for her forgiveness, which she gave willingly. Her last words were, Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Dudley turned away and would see no more. Over the next fortnight, the slaughter continued throughout the city, as over one hundred of Wyatts men were hanged, drawn and quartered, their bodies dangling at the gates to the city, at Cheapside, Aldgate, Leadenhall, Holborn, St. Georges, Charing Cross, Bermondsey Street, even at St.Pauls Churchyard. Others were hanged outside the city at Maidenstone, Rochester, and Sevenoaks. To the citizens, it seemed there was no end to the revenge. The prize, Sir Thomas Wyatt himself, was kept alive for Simon Renard. Every attempt was made to force Wyatt to implicate Elizabeth, including torture on the rack, but without success. Finally, after he had been formally tried, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, Renard decided to pay him a personal visit in the Tower. Renard entered the dimly lit rack room, where Wyatt was strapped firmly to the rack, his only clothing a brief loincloth. Renard requested the guards to leave them alone. Renard spoke politely, walking up to Wyatts side. Sir Thomas. I dont believe we have met. I am Simon Renard. I know who you are, squeaked an exhausted and weak Thomas Wyatt, his head leaning to one side to make eye contact. Good. Then let us not waste time. I will get right to the point. I am not interested in your life, Sir Wyatt. It means nothing to me. I am interested in Elizabeth. I am prepared to make you a proposition. Your life for your signature. He pulled a document from his inner pocket and held it up to the light for Wyatt to read. The deal is simple. You admit Elizabeths consent. You go free. You can be out of here within the hour. Wyatt struggled to clear his throat. His lips were caked with dried blood. He was clearly in great pain. Do you want the truth or a signature? he croaked. Renard smiled. Truth? What is truth, Sir Thomas? I would prefer to have both the truth and your signature. Look here! I know you are an honourable man. I am not asking you to lie. But you and I both know that you did not embark on this adventure without some sign, however small, implicit or explicit, from Elizabeth, to you or to one of your lieutenants. I am a reasonable man. That is all I want you to concede. Perhaps her consent was not specific. A wink? A pregnant silence? I dont care. Truth? You can define your truth however you like, Sir Thomas. Then you can have a clear conscience and your freedom.