In 1675, a teenaged boy who has trained his entire life for a career as an actor in Restoration London finds himself accidentally transported to Massachusetts Colony, where he knows the Puritans consider the theater to be a terrible evil. It is a time of great unrest and fear, as the Native American tribes are realizing that the English settlers are an unsettling, permanent and growing presence in their midst. For their part, some of the superstitious colonists insist they keep seeing a scalp on the moon, a portent that something
terrible is about to happen. With the outbreak of King Philip’s War this portent might turn out to be all too accurate.
Dorothea Jensen is proud to be one of a very few people who has boarded a pirate ship and attacked a Viking vessel manned by real Vikings wearing horns and furs. She was born in Boston, but grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois, site of the Viking adventure. She then earned a BA in English from Carleton College and an MA in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America, taught middle and high school English, tutored refugees in ESL, written grant proposals for various arts organizations, written a play performed in Noh style, and raised three children.
Her first historical novel for young readers, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, has been used in classrooms for many years as an enrichment resource for kids studying the American Revolution. Her next novel, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991.
Dorothea also writes modern Christmas stories in verse. Modeled on the 19th century classic poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas", these award-winning Santa's Izzy Elves story poems feature decidedly 21st century elves savvy in modern technology.
I actually started writing this book in 1993. In my files from then, I recently found a xeroxed page from the Records of the Court of Assistants of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As I plan to have part of my story involve a court case, I apparently wrote a snail mail letter to the Massachusetts Judicial Archivist and asked her to send this page to me. Today I went online and downloaded a PDF of the entire book of court records from 1630-1692. It took me about five minutes. Sometimes I feel as if there has been as much change in the last 25 years (in information technology, at least) as there has been since the 17th C. Someone wrote this record down in court with a quill pen nearly 350 years ago and now it's on my laptop computer. Wow.
A Scalp on the Moon
The newfangled curtain came down with a thunk, setting the dust in motion on the stage, then rose with a loud creaking of the lifting gears. Another performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, was over.