So, after thinking these thoughts about a possible post-apocalyptic world over the three previous parts, where did I arrive and why did I pursue it as the background to my novel? I have assumed that a global pandemic has wiped out ninety plus percent of the world’s population in the early second half of the twenty-first century (not long folks!) and that just over a hundred years later the world has moved on from the immediate crisis. What does the world of ‘Renaissance’, a post-plague England in 2153, look like?
After the initial disaster a series of religious civil wars have further radically reduced the population. By way of comparison the sixteenth century Thirty Years War, by some estimates, resulted in the deaths of up to thirty percent of the population. The fighting has resulted in a religiously divided geography with a very different, essentially medieval, political structure in both an Islamic north and a fundamentalist Christian south.
The tiny population makes possible the reduced scale of organisation of society and politics typical of Europe in the late medieval period. This is a small and intense world, where politics is essentially personal and familial. Different factions within an elite drive the fate of the whole country. The north is controlled by a ruling family, with the internal squabbling that is inevitable in that – see any medieval history of Europe or the Middle East for instances of political upheaval brought about through family feuding and the lust for power. The south is run by a soldier-bishop, for example the Bishops of Durham during the middle ages, via manipulation of the elected executive bodies. This was the method employed by Lorenzo de Medici to rule fifteenth century Florence.
This England is basically an agricultural economy with some, limited, early twentieth-century technology. The kind of thing that enthusiastic amateurs could get to work in a rudimentary way, simple cars, very basic manual telephony etc. Politically medieval, technologically maybe early 1920’s, this background gives me an interesting canvas, with an intimate cast of characters, to build an action adventure thriller series, of which ‘Renaissance’ is the first.