My brother brought my nephews to visit us in Prague, which left us struggling for ideas. After all, how do you entertain a teenager and a pre-teen? It's not as if you can do what everyone else does in Prague - drink beer. A visit to the medieval tortuure museum went down a treat, but the crowning glory was the medieval tavern.
Designed to milk money from unwary tourists, there are several mock medieval taverns to be found in Prague. To be fair, they do provide a good evening's spectacle. From the drummers and pipers to the beer-serving wenches, from the firebreathers to the multilingual duelling footpads, my nephews' eyes were wide with delight. As were mine, until they asked me why the restaurant was called At the King of Brabant.
An innocent query, delivered tongue-in cheek, Had they never heard of the Sons of the King of Brabant?, and their ingenuously negative responses, really landed me in it. For the next three days, I scrambled to interweave a credible tale of derring-do with what I knew of the history of Prague. I scraped a pass mark from that rather critical audience, and then thought Maybe I should write this down?
And so The Devil's Bible was born.
After graduating, I went to live in Sweden. I admit this isn't the traditional path that most people choose, but Robert Frost and I have a few things in common, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was an outstanding experience. I made some good friends, and learned a lot, including some Swedish songs and stories.
When I left Sweden to move to the Czech Republic, it was only natural for my friends to come visit me in Prague, but when one of them told me that the Swedes had invaded Prague in the past, I had to laugh. Much to my chagrin, his knowledge of European history was better than mine, and he was right, although in my defence, much of the Swedish army in 1648 was made up of Irish and Scottish mercenaries.
If you climb Petrin hill in the centre of Prague, and make your way through the mirror maze there, you will find a stunning diorama of the battle of Kamenny Most in 1648, where the Swedes were finally repulsed on what is now Charles Bridge. But you'll have to wait until Book III of The Devil's Bible Series to find out what exactly happened.