We have five copies of Deborah White's book, Deceit, which she wrote about here to give away to the best answers to this question:
"If you were a seventeenth century smuggler, bringing something in or out of the country, what contraband would appeal to you?"
We regret that all our competitions are open to UK residents only.
Closing date 7th February; please put suggestions in the Comments below.
If I was a seventeenth century smuggler I would smuggle Books, the sort that were not serious and 'godly' the sort that were stories and poems, to waste your time and so had no true value, but were of great rarity. I would wrap them in oiled paper or canvas to keep them dry and I would slide them in gaps of coaches or boats between the outer skin and the inner lining! invisible but with messages of wasting time for all :-)
If I was a smuggler in the mid-17th century, the best contraband to get out of the country would, of course, be Charles I. Failing that, any of his children. Poor little Princess Elizabeth, who died in captivity aged 15 in 1650, for example.
The best contraband to bring in to the country... well, books or brandy or something lucrative and portable. I used to know a Polish writer-in-exile whose books were published in tiny editions to make smuggling them in to the country easier - with magnifying glasses to read them by. Come to that, what about magnifying glasses and microscopes from Van Leeuwenhock's workshop?
Yes: Royals out, scientific instruments in on the return journey.
I think books, always and everywhere.
But also (depending upon exactly when in the mid 17thC we find ourselves) I think either Royalists or Parliamentarians, smuggling them out of the country to avoid punishment for having picked the wrong side...
If I was a 17th Century Smuggler I would of made sure that I smuggled Charles I out of England by doing this I could always insure my own safety and may also be highly rewarded for risking my own life to save the King's. You never know Charles may have rewarded me by making me one of his most loyal Cavilliers. While on the side lines of smuggling royals in and out of the country for their own safety I would also smuggle books that were considered banned in the country in and out too.
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