Castlemartin at Midnight: The Theatre of History
Human history is the history of empire. For better or for worse, it has been the most significant and enduring form of authority and creator of order - for one man, its nature, its very essence, became an outright obsession.
For as long as anyone could remember the Carlisles were the caretakers of the 17th century Castlemartin Estate perched atop the secluded peninsula on the Isle of Skye in Scotland's western highlands. Its latest caretaker - the mysterious historian M. Nigel Carlisle - was Lord of Castlemartin, working tirelessly within its book-filled confines on his shadowy and secretive research on imperialism.
Throughout the centuries, countless conspiracy theories had proliferated, the most famous being of a secret society dating back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I called the School of Night. Many believed that these aristocratic circles still drive the commanding heights of power across world governments and international organizations. A 'republic of letters' that never perished, consisting of Habsburgs and East India Company progeny unwilling to accept the decline of royalism and loath to let modern values disrupt their master plan.
On its release in 1995, Carlisle's opus Eras of Empire was a monumental flop; it was heavily criticized for prognosticating the return of history when the Soviet Union had just collapsed and US-led liberal internationalism was ascendant. However, with the tumultuous events of the early 2020s, the book quickly became a cult classic across the geopolitical intelligentsia. He had become a sort of a prophet, warning of an imperialist revival now set to sweep the globe.
Ethan Briar, a damaged, but ambitious American at the fast growing, New York-based global research company Sovereign Intelligence (SOVERINT) is tasked with joining a red team of intelligence experts to assess the output of cutting-edge quantum computer AI simulations producing detailed alternative histories of the world. In addition, he must simultaneously locate another US intelligence asset code named Ocean Sleeper reportedly trapped within Castlemartin's ultra-secure facility and uncover as much of the secretive research as he can.
Ethan begins to slowly reveal a hidden history of the world that goes far beyond the scope of the original mission, a history hidden from the vast majority of ordinary people. Carlisle is no where to be found, mysterious figures roam the halls at night, and he begins to question the purpose of his assignment. With Castlemartin's quantum super computer, what was Carlisle searching for among the near infinite pathways of history?
He quickly discovers a world not at the end of history, for history cannot be buried so easily.
Eras of Empire (1995) - Key Excerpts from the Cult Classic
The book cover from the original
publication of Eras of Empire (1995)
Midtown Manhattan, New York, the global headquarters of Sovereign Intelligence, better known as SOVERINT.
Tucked away in the western corner of the Isle of Skye, the secretive Castlemartin Estate was a refuge from the English Civil War and set up to study the causes and implications of the Thirty Years War.
Meet the personalities at work on the grand project of Castlemartin.