The story of my paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Davidson Carmichael’s life was in my heart to write for many years. The oral history of her colourful life was an inspiration to me as a child and I grew up hearing those wonderful, tragic, happy stories from Elizabeth’s own lips, stories of my family’s paternal legacy. Elizabeth shamelessly told on herself, holding nothing back of the tragedy and triumphs of her life. I tucked them away to someday put in a book.
Years passed before I took pen in hand and began to sketch out the events I wanted to include in this novel based on fact. I set the novel back in time some 35 years prior to the actual events to include some of the local history of F airfield County. The important facts are there and the rest must belong to this writer’s imagination. One can only suppose what may have been said, what events occurred that shaped the lives of the characters in this book.
I hope you enjoy reading The Wild Rose of Lancaster as much as I enjoyed piecing together Elizabeth’s life through her letters, postcards, and oral history. This story is one had to be told. It was just too inspiring to leave untold. Others must share the experiences that made her life such a blessing.
Written by award-winning author, Ruth Carmichael Ellinger, The Wild Rose of Lancaster is an historical novel with a dynamic inspirational theme based on the true-life story of Elizabeth Davidson Carmichael, whose colorful life and bold determination changed her from a spoiled, self-willed young widow into a woman who set a precedent for independence. In a day when it was not socially acceptable for a woman to succeed by her own merit, Elizabeth is determined to achieve this goal. Within her veins flow the fiery Scottish blood of her father and grandfather, sons of a Highland clan immigrating to America in the mid 1700s.
The challenges of life become overwhelming when Elizabeth’s young husband, Samuel, dies leaving her penniless. Filled with bitterness toward God over the untimely death of her husband and the loss of her home, Elizabeth’s faith is shattered. Desperate, she is forced to return to Wildrose, the family owned thoroughbred farm situated in the picturesque Ohio Valley.
Elizabeth vows to make a life for herself and her young son without the aid of God or family. Her affluent father, the controlling and powerful Isaac James Davidson, owner of Wildrose, is angered and disgraced when Elizabeth refuses his help and takes a job as a housekeeper and nurse for a local doctor and his invalid wife. Their fiery conflicts drive Elizabeth from the family home, but not from the prayers of her God fearing mother, Delilah, and her devoted brothers.