“How Far Can a Horse Walk in a Day?" Stockton Author to Discuss New Historical Novel

For Immediate Release; with ‘Uniting Enemies’ book cover


Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Stockton University’s Kramer Hall will host author Mary Ann Trail, Professor Emerita who worked as an academic librarian at Stockton for over 30 years, to discuss the research used to provide believable backgrounds in her work and touch on her newest book, “Uniting Enemies: A Historical Novel of 1801.”

This free public event is a part of Hammonton’s Third Thursday and will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17 from 6 - 8 p.m. at the university’s instructional site, 30 Front St., Hammonton, N.J. Light refreshments will be served.

Characters in historical novels do not stay in one place.  Sometimes they need to race after kidnappers and sometimes they even travel for fun.  Historical novelists often face this problem: How do you move characters from place to place with historical accuracy?

Many English men and women of the 18th and 19th centuries traveled annually to London for the social life, their sons traveled often on the European continent for education and many traveled for just the same reasons people travel today, to see the sights. Even the middle-class characters in Jane Austen’s novel, “Pride and Prejudice,” Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt and uncle, take off for a visit to the Lake District.  But how did they know what road to take? How did they plan their stops, decide which inns to frequent, and where to change their horses?

In this presentation, Trail will discuss a primary source, “Paterson’s Roads,” which she used in her novel to move her characters in an authentic way from London to Southampton.

“Paterson’s Roads” was a popular travel guide in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The presentation will include planning a trip, mining the guide for historical details about major sites to visit, market days and even the names of important local figures.  Most importantly, “Paterson’s Roads” shows distances, and where to find inns to change horses

Trail, who majored in history as an undergraduate, started “Uniting Enemies” as a way of exploring what life was like before digital communication. Along the way, her research led her to the beginnings of the modern British secret service and how information was gathered about England’s enemies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The book describes the political strife between England and Ireland in 1801, putting families in jeopardy and complicating personal relationships.

Copies of “Uniting Enemies” will be available for purchase at the event or can be purchased on Amazon.com.

For more information about classes and community events at Stockton University’s Kramer Hall, visit stockton.edu/hammonton.