Untell the story

There’s a line in a favourite song which has somehow become ‘untell the story’ in my mind… and the little phrase has stuck with me. I am writing a sequel to my latest novel Radwinter at the moment, and as with the first story about the Radwinter family, this one is about their search for their genealogy, unpicking their family history through talking to relatives and doing genealogical research on the Internet.

One thing which happens to Thomas who is the main character, and I a sure it happens to all family historians, there are certain stories which have been handed down, sometimes through several generations, and which either have become distorted by the Chinese whisper effect, or were never true in the first place and were either a misunderstanding or a deliberate untruth (for example if a child was born before parents were married the dates of birth or marriage might be changed in family albums or Bibles)) or are just one of those family legends which have no basis in reality at all!

This is where the phrase ‘untell the story’ seems so appropriate. Thomas and his family have a set idea of the background of their mother Sylvia, but Thomas is finding that the facts are very different from what they have always believed! Thomas has to untell the stories he and his brothers believe about their parents and their grandparents… it may not be altogether comfortable but that is how it is for a family historian.

You probably won’t be surprised that the song by this band is the inspiration!




  1. david lewis

    Have you heard of the Chinese phone effect? Well there are so many Wings and so many Wongs in the Chinese phone books that people keep winging the wong number.


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