THE ANNE-MARIE CHRONICLES
BOOK ONE - THE NIZZA AFFAIR
Thanks to the intervention by members of a mysterious future matriarch known as the ‘peoples of Gaia’, Anne-Marie Richardson, a young woman from late-twentieth century England, has now visited three alternative history ‘probability worlds’. In the first she encountered the Amazon-like Femyny, a classical era matriarchy battling against an early-Roman Latium League.
Then next she found herself in a twentieth century Malta which was still part of the Kingdom of Naples, where history had diverged sometime in the late-eighteenth century, but whose collective European anciens régimes were being threatened by the ‘New Way’, a Gnostic matriarchy originating from the Middle East and North Africa. Finally, and this time accompanied by other ‘temporal-dimensional itinerants’, including one of her companions from the Femyny world, she visited another twentieth century England, politically fragmented following the destructive ‘Great War of 1917-25’ over three decades earlier, after which a biologically-engineered pandemic had devastated the male population, leaving the now-majority female survivors having to reconstruct a new, post-catastrophe society, with new rules, rationale and hierarchy.
Thus each was either a fully-fledged or developing matriarchy, but -in addition to danger from obvious local enemies - each was also threatened by the agents of another future probability world society known as ‘the Commonwealth’.
Then, unexpectedly, her former Gaian companion from the New Way world appears, together with the painter Damian Munday, who was Anne-Marie’s lover, requesting that she and her friends return with them, but this time to the Piedmontese Italian frontier-town of Nizza - in our world better known as Nice. As ever, the reasons for Anne-Marie’s presence are at first veiled and unknown, but very soon events and personal relationships begin to take on an increasing complex and unpredictable significance…
The fourth book in the saga, now "The Anne-Marie Chronicles", this continues the story from "In The Grand Duchy of Wessex". This has still to be published.
NICE - Italian NIZZA - Located just 6 kilometres (4 miles) from the border between the French Empire and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Savoy, Nizza is the capital of the Piedmont province, or county, of the Frontiera Mediterranea, seat of the regional governor, and headquarters for the III Corpo d’Armata, the 3rd Army Corps, entrusted with protecting the vulnerable frontier against the French. Despite frequent incursions by the French, the so-called ‘Italian Riviera’ between Nizza and Mentone is sheltered to the north by the peaks of the Alpi Marittime (Maritime Alps), and the resulting mild climate, even in winter, meant that from the end of the 18th century onward this region has attracted numerous English visitors and expatriates. While the Old Town remained confined by the Castle Hill in the east, the Bay of Nizza and the 19th century sea-front promenade to the south, and the River Paglione (or Paillon) to the north-west, urban development to the west and north-west, and north-east of the Porto Limpia basin gradually spread up to, and another 0.5 kilometre (¼ mile) beyond, the main east-west Milano and Genova Railway line - itself located 0.5 kilometres nearer to the Old Town then in our probability world. The initial construction of the railway was undertaken in 1882-86, with the line only eventually being extended across the River Var to join the Marseilles-Cannes line in 1897. These new suburbs mostly followed a grid-pattern, with the wide, tree-lined Viale Vittorio Emanuele III extending north-west from the Piazza Savoia towards, and beyond, the main railway station, while the parallel Via Sardegna was located ½ kilometres east, and the Viale Dello di Liberazione crossing both at right-angles, with the Via Torino extended south-west, parallel to the Inglese Lungomare. The civilian population in the last census of 1990 was 86,456, with 16% French-speaking, 6% English, 2% other (notably Russian, Jewish and Hungarian) and the rest Italianate-Piedmontese. Following the Second Italian War (1872-79) the Piedmont government constructed a series of forts along the east bank of the Var, and to the north and east of Nizza itself, and these defences were again upgraded and modernised after the brief 1944 North Italian War. In 1946 the municipality was reorganised into twelve districts, or quarters, each name after the local church or saint....
Despite its long established reputation with foreign visitors and expatriates as a fashionable resort for health and pleasure, Nizza is still essentially a garrison town, with a small naval harbour to the east of Porto Limpia and extensive defences along the Var and Paglione valleys.
From the glossary of "The Nizza Affair".
by G. G. Anderson