List of 1632 characters (fictional)

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This list is based on the 1632 series, also known as the 1632-verse or Ring of Fire series, an alternate history book series and sub-series.


The list is maintained alphabetically by last name then first name, but individuals of particular note may have their own section as a link to point from other articles.

The headings of four of five main characters of the entire story that are fictional are bold. The fifth is the historical Gustav II Adolf Vasa, King of Sweden.

Overall premise

The fictional village of Grantville, West Virginia, with a population of about 3000, based on the real village of Mannington, West Virginia, with a population of about 2000, is, within a six-mile diameter sphere (half atmosphere) of Earth in the year 2000 (up-time), exchanged with a similar sphere of Thuringia in southern Germany in 1631 (down-time), bringing up-time knowledge, books, electricity, and much technology. The entire hypernovel of multiple threads, by now over ten million words of it, is about how the knowledge and technology affects the world of the 1630s.

Balthazar Abrabanel

Balthazar Abrabanel is a Jewish Marrano physician, courier and sometimes spy, is a fictional member of the historical Abrabanel family. He inadvertently arrived in the outskirts of Grantville while fleeing for his life with his daughter Rebecca Abrabanel. While having a heart attack in a coach, Balthazar was tended to by Dr. James Nichols. The posse led by Mike Stearns dealt roughly with the pursuing mercenaries chasing the small family. He later recovered and settled in Grantville, where he gave his blessing to the marriage of Mike Stearns to Rebecca and also contacted his extended family, and secured financial backing for what became the New United States.

Bernadette Adducci

Bernadette Adducci was a former nun, policewoman and social worker in Grantville; aunt of Tony Adducci in Basel. In 1634: The Bavarian Crisis Bernadette provides a diplomatic conduit for the escaping Archduchess of Austria in her flight from Maximilian I to the arms of Don Fernando, King in the Netherlands.

Tony Adducci, Jr.

Tony Adducci, Jr. is a radio operator who serves Ambassadoress Diane Jackson in the embassy to Basel, Switzerland in 1634: The Bavarian Crisis . Under her directed hints, Tony manages to creatively "lose in processing" a message he has just verbalized to her as he transcribed the Morse code, enabling her to honestly say in a confrontational meeting just after that she has "seen no such message", which helps the negotiations as the spill over from the crisis hits the politics in Basel.

Susanna Allegretti

Susanna Allegretti is an apprentice seamstress from the South Tyrol region of northern Italy, and frequently at odds with her new mistress—head seamstress —Frau Stecher—who is a spy for the Habsburg factotums keeping an eye on the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria. The two young women manage to form a relationship nonetheless, and Maria Anna charges Susanna with assisting her advisor and friend, the dowager sister of the Spanish diplomat Cardinal Bedmar, Dona Mencia de Mendoza.

Jimmy Andersen

Jimmy Andersen is one of the four bright, somewhat nerdy, and inseparable senior war gamers who are suddenly 'orphaned' by the Ring of Fire and left on their own. Jimmy evolves into a communications specialist while in the New United States Army from 1631–1633. Then he is in the SoTF National Guard as a radio operator, 1634–1635. Later he is in the USE Army, on Mike Stearns' staff in June 1635. Jimmy Andersen was in the party from Grantville sent to Amsterdam to warn the Dutch of impending French treachery of before the siege of 1633–1634. He is killed by a stray bullet in 1636 in Bavaria.

David Bartley

David Bartley is a distant cousin of Jeff Higgins. He is the co-founder and stockholder of Higgins Sewing Machine Company, and CEO of Other People's Money, a very successful Grantville investment fund. Grandson of Delia Higgins. He first appeared in the Grantville Gazette I story "The Sewing Circle". David later established the "Becky" as the official currency of the USE Third Army while on campaign in Saxony.

Eddie Cantrell

Eddie Cantrell first appears as one of the four teens (called the "Four Musketeers" by Stearns) rescuing the Richter family in the end phase of the Battle of the Crapper in the NTL summer of 1631. In the David Weber short story "In the Navy" (Ring of Fire, winter '32–'33 NTL) he convinces Mike Stearns that an ironclad navy is needed to help Gustavus Adolphus fight a war efficiently. Thrust into working for John Chandler Simpson, who originally opposed Mike Stearns and his policies, Eddie's unique character helps to transform Simpson, and the two develop a close but unspoken relationship which verges on father-and-son. Cantrell later becomes a Navy Lieutenant-Commander.

He appears in several stories in Ring of Fire . In one story Eddie is involved in a gunfight with down-timers stealing firearms from the chaotic environs of Grantville.

In 1633 , Lt. Cantrell heads up the mixed forces charged with defending Wismar Bay from the invading League of Ostend forces. In the action, he is maimed and captured by the Danish forces. In 1634: The Baltic War , as a prisoner of war, he falls in love with and eventually weds King Christian IV of Denmark's morganatic daughter Anne Cathrine. For his service, he becomes the Imperial Count of Wismar and a minor Danish Baron.

Eddie is the main character in 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies .

Marc Cavriani

Marc Cavriani is a main character in 1634: The Baltic War . He helps Susanna Allegretti avoid capture in Munich and walk to Basel, during which he falls in love with her and she at least very nearly falls in love with him. By Section II of The Red-Headed League in Ring of Fire IV she has completed the process, addressing him in a letter as "My dearest heart" and signing it "With all my love, Susanna."

Henry Dreeson

Henry Dreeson is the mayor of Grantville. After Grantville was sent into the past, Dreeson and the town council realized they were not well equipped to handle the situation, and so proposed the creation of an emergency committee which was led by Mike Stearns. Dreeson continued on in the position of mayor, and was tasked with managing the town's financial resources, rationing, and the like. He later married Veronica Richter during the Ring of Fire short story "Biting Time". In 1635: The Dreeson Incident , Henry Dreeson and Enoch Wiley are assassinated in front of Grantsville's new synagogue by Mathurin Brillard, a French Huguenot follower of Michel Ducos.

Veronica Dreeson

Veronica Dreeson was the grandmother of Gretchen Richter Higgins and Hans Richter. She became a founder of primary schools and eventual spouse of Grantville Mayor Henry Dreeson. She is one of the principal protagonists in 1634: The Bavarian Crisis , returning to her husband's estate and old home town near Amberg in the Upper Palatinate. She accompanies a strategic trade mission and, with Mary Simpson, triggers one part of the Bavarian Crisis. She has also figured into several key Grantville Gazette tales. Despite her lower middle class roots and association with her radical granddaughter, she becomes friends with many women in the upper nobility of the USE through a common interest in education reform.

Michel Ducos

Michel Ducos is a French Huguenot extremist who first appears in 1634: The Galileo Affair .

Karl Jurgen Edelmann

Karl Jurgen Edelman is guildmaster of Jena and father of Magdalena Stone who initially rejects the suit of Tom "Stoner" Stone in the Mercedes Lackey in the Ring of Fire short story "To Dye For". Despite Magda's age, which makes a down-time marriage unlikely, Edelmann refuses when he learns that Stoner is impoverished, unlike most residents of Grantville.

Greg Ferrara

Greg Ferrara is the head of the science department of Grantville High School and is a key figure in the Emergency Town Meeting three days after the Ring of Fire. Greg is named to the Grantville Emergency Committee by chairman Michael Stearns in their first "gear down strategy" session and sub-vocally earmarked by Stearns as his unofficial "Minister of the arms Complex".

Dan Frost

Dan Frost is the Chief of Police and was a casualty during the immediate aftermath of the Ring of Fire event when he was wounded by Spanish soldiers of Count Tilly's army early in 1632 . Later, he single-handedly stalls a charge across a bridge by a rampaging Croatian cavalry, using two modern handguns. In the series as a whole, he became a background figure acting as a security consultant to the new order settling into the plains of Germany.

Jere Haygood

"Up-timers" (Grantvillers from 2000 C.E.) Jere Haygood and Pete McDougal are stationed in the sacked and destroyed city of Magdeburg which is being rebuilt as the continental capital. Both make their appearance in the series in David Weber's tale "In the Navy". Haygood is on loan to Gustav's administration shortly after the formation of the Confederated Principalities of Europe in the fall of 1632 and the following winter. There he assists John Chandler Simpson in siting a shipyard for the proposed naval construction by the New United States. Haygood headed up one Grantville's civil engineering firms and is detailed to assist the king's officials in planning a modern city. Improvement of the river and canal transport network is vital. Because "good roads" are brief but limited cobblestone main streets in larger cities, and the roads in between are mere cart tracks— overland, goods are mainly shipped by mule train. In conjunction with Admiral-to-be Simpson, Haygood, with a long background as a civil war re-enactor, helps to convince Gustav's officer corps to reorganize the army into a smaller more professional form using newly designed firearms with bayonets (instead of two-thirds pikes and one-third muskets).

Jeff Higgins

Jeff Higgins is a teen and the husband of Gretchen Richter. They married after he rescued her from victimization as a camp follower. On the day of the Ring of Fire, Higgins's family had left for the day, and he was effectively left as an orphan. Despite his bulk, he is never confident before a fight, but once engaged he finds a focus as a fighter.

Ernst Hoffman

Ernst Hoffman is a corrupt Protestant mercenary leader who was extorting money and lording over the citizens in the walled town of Badenburg under the guise of protecting the inhabitants during the Thirty Years' War. He and his mercenary company did absolutely nothing to protect the region outside the town walls. Hoffman's band of about five-hundred initially participated in the Battle of the Crapper, but broke to run before the action was fully joined. When the Catholic army was broken and defeated by the Americans and Alexander Mackay's mercenaries, Hoffman and his men took the opportunity to loot, pillage, and rape amongst the enemy baggage train and camp followers. This, however, was expected by Mike Stearns. Hoffman and his mercenaries were immediately captured by the Americans. Hoffman was subjected to an exhausting and embarrassing chase when he was spotted by several Armored Personnel Carriers. After finally collapsing from exhaustion, Hoffman was then personally handcuffed by Stearns, ending his reign over Badenburg.

Willie Ray Hudson

Willie Ray Hudson is the only Grantviller appointed to the Emergency Committee that has any practical experience with government, having been on the state legislature of West Virginia for a number of terms. He is considered by many (including Mike Stearns) as the best farmer in Grantville, and so is appointed to the Grantville Constitutional Sub-committee. His primary role is making sure Grantville and the influx of refugees have sufficient food — he is Chairman of Agriculture co-ordination and rationing. Willie Ray accordingly works closely with both the Resource committee and Rationing committees and plays a role in many of the ground-level-view stories published in The Grantville Gazettes . His wife, Vera, is the grandmother of Melissa Jenkins, a major character in 1635: The Dreeson Incident ; Willie Ray has several appearances and more mentions.

Frank Jackson

Frank Jackson is a former Vietnam War veteran and United Mine Workers union member. He was appointed to the Emergency Committee Cabinet by Stearns just three days after the Ring of Fire. He became head of the town's armed forces which were formed around a nucleus of UMWA miners who had military service. With Stearns in overall command at the battles of the New United States of the joint forces of Alexander Mackay and Jackson's army, Jackson led the NUS forces through all of 1631–1632 until after the governmental reorganization in October 1633 created the United States of Europe—where part of the bargain with Gustavus was that the up-timer forces would be consolidated with the king of Sweden's other armies. In 1633 he became New United States army chief of staff, by American tradition the active forces supreme commander under the short lived Confederated Principalities of Europe governmental structure. By 1634: The Baltic War , Jackson was attached to Gustav Adolf's personal staff as liaison for up-timer military technology, as he'd served in the US Army as a sergeant, and needed further training, at least logistically, to actively lead large organizations of troops.

Anne Jefferson

Anne Jefferson is a registered nurse, classmate of Sharon Nichols, half-sister of Melissa Jenkins (same mother) and native West Virginian who, like Nichols, was visiting Grantville for the occasion of her friend Rita Stearns' wedding. She was anticipating her own wedding just six weeks later, but her betrothed was left behind up-time. She first appears in the short story "A Matter of Consultation" where she and Nichols face off against Dr. William Harvey, the "discoverer" of the circulatory system. The two nurses "give him some pointers", including a humbling dressing down about medicine and the abilities of women and medicines. Concurrently, Anne Jefferson meets her future husband, historical diplomat and mathematician Adam Olearius who'd been acting as guide and translator for Harvey.

She is an important character in the widely varied negotiations set inside the Siege of Amsterdam, which begins with her taking center stage in the three Flint Gazette stories that were added to the print released versions: "Portraits", "Steps in the Dance", and "Postage Due". Her influential role continues within the siege in each of 1633 , 1634: The Bavarian Crisis and 1634: The Baltic War . The related Gazette tales explain a typically Stearnsian bit of legerdemain – to improve communications in Europe by expediting a trans-European common postal system which will in the long run undermine the opposition. Even the canny Cardinal Richelieu fails to appreciate the danger of a freer flow of ideas and concepts across borders (which of course cannot be limited to just technology, but also include political ideas) to the established aristocratic hierarchy. Hence Jefferson's role becomes very important in Stearn's long range schemes to build democracy upon the graves of aristocratic institutions, putting Jefferson, like Gretchen Richter at the heart of the revolution in thought behind the sweeping neohistorical events related in the long fiction of the series.

By the conclusion of The Baltic War and The Bavarian Crisis, Anne was betrothed to Olearius and planning a life together in Amsterdam where Jefferson has established herself as a Doctor and built a family practice amidst the siege, whilst many of the city's established doctors had fled the city. With the help of the now firmly established Dutch Committees of Correspondence, this will help break the power of another guild—the guild system being another authoritarian institution deemed as repressive and opposed to modern freedoms and thought.

Melissa (Missy) Jenkins

Missy Jenkins is half-sister of Anne Jefferson and a major character in 1635: The Dreeson Incident , where she becomes engaged to Ron Stone, and after they are married, a major character in Scarface .

Harry Lefferts

Harry Lefferts is a brash minded union organizer and troubleshooter. He evolves in the series from being reckless to a more dangerous and shrewd leader of "The Wrecking Crew", Mike Stearns' protective detail and special operations (commando) team. In 1634: The Baltic War Harry's team infiltrates London, and rescues the embassy imprisoned by King Charles I. In Italy, his reputation has led many wealthy and otherwise idle younger sons of noblemen to emulate his style of dress and personal mannerisms. The youths are collectively referred to as Lefferti. In Scarface , Harry is seduced by hochadel Eva Katharina von Anhalt-Dessau, falls in love with her, and proposes. They become betrothed.

Andrew Lennox

Andrew Lennox is Alex Mackay's second in command. A Scottish Calvinist, in 1634: The Galileo Affair he saves the life of Pope Urban VIII, which prompts the Pope to rethink his attitude toward Protestants.

Marla Linder

Marla Linder, born Kristen Marlena Linder, is a Grantville musician of great talent. She befriends the crippled down-timer musician Franz Scylwester in a series of connected stories that explore the influence of up-timer music and instruments upon the down-time neohistory. The stories essentially make up one long tale, beginning with "The Sound of Music" which explore the impact of up-timer musical knowledge, instruments and sheet music on down-timer culture and music.

Marla, who sings at least as well as she plays keyboard instruments, has been devastated by the Ring of Fire and had held great ambitions to attend a prestigious musical institute. In the first story, while on stage, her last name isn't even mentioned. Franz Sylwester has similar psychic wounds from being deliberately maimed and losing his career as a crack violinist. Carrico's Franz and Marla stories explore the new world of music enabled by Grantville's musical knowledge, but are very sensitive and depict the two characters psychologically assisting each other to come to grips with the new reality and undergo healing. Along the way they discover the wonders of one another.

The two appear in the novel 1634: The Baltic War and in "Command Performance", where Franz demonstrates his renewed mastery, having learned to play left handed, and publicly asks Ms. Linder for her hand as partial conclusion to a high society concert hosted by Mary Simpson—the storyline in the anthology Ring of Fire II. The same concert is backdrop for the entrance of Admiral John Chandler Simpson in the aftermath of the industrial accident that begins The Baltic War.

Alexander Mackay

Alexander Mackay is the captain of a Scottish cavalry of Green Regiment under the service of Gustavus Adolphus. He and his cavalry first encounter Grantville while scouting the Thuringian countryside near Badenburg and is surprised by patrolling American miners (veterans of the United States Armed Forces) in camouflage clothing.

Mackay's is the first unit of Gustavus Adolphus's forces to encounter the Grantvillers. Mackay is screening well in advance of Gustav's army, in effect on detached duty stationed at Badenburg to keep an eye on Count Tilly's Catholic forces. His independent mission is to search for and find courier Balthazar Abrabanel who has money from the Protestant burghers of Amsterdam for King Gustavus Adolphus. Mackay, who is reminiscent of Tom Sawyer in appearance, "falls hard" for senior cheerleader captain and sharpshooter Julie Sims when the Grantville Emergency Committee's cabinet invites Mackay and Andrew Lennox, along with their whole scouting patrol, into Grantville High School for lunch in the school cafeteria. Later that day, Mackay suggests an alliance and Stearns and Mackay agree in principle to act jointly to protect the various regions of southern Thuringia in the summer of 1631. Along with the New United States up-timer army formed under Frank Jackson, the two forces join to defend Badenburg and liberate it as well from the Protestant mercenary leader Ernst Hoffman's battalion sized unit which has been extorting support from the town while allegedly protecting it.

Julie Mackay

Julie Mackay (née Sims) is the daughter of Grantville dentist Henry Sims, who captivates Scottish Captain Alexander MacKay when he first enters Grantville High School early in the book 1632 . She is Grantville's sharpest sharpshooter and had been training for the Olympic biathlon. In the latter part of 1632, she turns out to be an excellent sniper, and one of a handful of women capable of passing the physical requirements of the Grantville army. Her marksmanship abilities become legendary in Europe, and her rifle (the "Wand of Womanly Wrath") is an object of awe. She eventually married Mackay.

In 1633 , Julie later traveled with Alex and their infant daughter Alexie to Scotland, serving alongside Alex as potential individuals in providing support for the Grantville delegation to London, should the worst come to happen to them, which it did in the form of imprisonment in the Tower of London. In 1634: The Baltic War , Julie and Alex join with Harry Lefferts and his Wrecking Crew to stage what turns out to be a massive escape from the Tower of London, with Julie providing sniper fire from across the Thames River. The Grantville diplomats manage to bring with them fellow-inmates the Earl of Strafford and his family, Oliver Cromwell, and Archbishop Laud, and about half the Yeomen Warders who were their guards, the Warders' families, and three soldiers who were framed by the Earl of Cork for a death that was in no way their fault.

Julie has a close relationship with Gustavus Adolphus, who treats her as a surrogate daughter or close niece, and interacts with him with an unusual degree of informality.

Melissa Mailey

Melissa Mailey, born of the Boston Brahmins and known as the "Schoolmarm from Hell", is Grantville High's history teacher and an invaluable resource after the Ring of Fire. She helps draft the first Constitution, and is a prominent member of the Emergency Cabinet. A noted feminist and liberal activist with a history of arrest for civil disobedience in the sixties and seventies, Mailey's views and principles are harshly challenged by the realities of 17th-century Germany, but she is eventually able to adjust, though not without anguish. She becomes not only a critical part of the new government, but a counselor and mother figure for many of Grantville's young women, most notably Julie Mackay. In this role she finds herself softening, losing much of the brittle aloofness that had previously characterized her; the novel 1632 notes that after half a lifetime spent among West Virginians, she had "finally adopted them for her own."

She also plays a prominent role as a politician; she becomes leader of the Fourth of July Party and speaks often at political rallies.

To her own considerable surprise, Mailey finds herself falling in love with Dr. James Nichols, eventually throwing her notorious propriety to the wind when he moves into her house. She subsequently thinks of him as her "husband in everything but name", and Nichols' daughter Sharon comes to think of her as her stepmother. During the Siege of Linz, she also is surprised when she forms a friendship with the Austro-Hungarian Queen. Down-timers routinely mistake her for a Duchess do to her regal presence, which is something of an embarrassment to her self-image as a proletarian radical.

Lawrence Mazzare

Lawrence (Larry) Mazzare was originally the local Catholic priest of Grantville, later the USE ambassador to the Most Serene Republic of Venice. After Andrew Lennox saves Pope Urban's life, Urban makes Larry a Cardinal, and appoints him the "Cardinal-Protector of the United States of Europe".

Pete McDougal

Pete McDougal is one of a handful of up-timers stationed in the sacked and destroyed city of Magdeburg which Gustavus is rebuilding as his continental capital. Along with Jere Haygood he makes his appearance in the series in David Webers tale "In the Navy". McDougal, a former UMWA official and friend of Mike Stearns, is acting as Mike's direct representative in the capital, an ombudsman and facilitator heading up the New United States embassy and co-ordinating the Americans assistance to Gustavus' people. Ex-CEO John Chandler Simpson clashes with McDougal over security issues, in particularly the lack of military bearing and discipline as evinced in the casual way another American, Matt Lowry, is standing guard over the New United States embassy.

Noelle Murphy

Noelle Murphy (who later changed her name to Noelle Stull and still later when she becomes ‘‘‘addicted to Drugeth,to ‘‘‘Noelle Drugeth, wife of Janos Drugeth) is a young up-timer employed by the New United States state department, who becomes something of an undercover troubleshooter. Uncertain of her vocation, she has a talent for looking at things a bit differently and so in the world of bureaucrats, is a somewhat uncomfortable subordinate to have. Having an unhappy family situation in Grantville—she is literally a bastard born out of wedlock, she is contemplating becoming a nun when Mike Stearns and Ed Piazza empower her as a special envoy to investigate likely sales of advanced guns to enemy countries. She later acquits herself well in the conclusion and climax scene of the Ram Rebellion, and appears again as a major character in Ring of Fire II . In later spin-off stories in the Grantville Gazettes it is revealed she was actually born in the valid marriage of an inadvertent bigamy situation.

Four Musketeers

This is a half-disparaging, half-humorous, and half-well-intentioned name given to the four bright, somewhat nerdy, and inseparable senior war gamers who are suddenly "orphaned" by the Ring of Fire and left on their own. They take on a large role in 1632 , many short stories, and other sequels.

Francisco Nasi

Part of the extended Abrabanel family, Francisco has relocated from Constantinople to Grantville, where he has become Mike Stearns' spymaster and advisor. When Mike is replaced as prime minister by Wilhelm Wettin, Francisco moves to Prague, along with employees Denise Beasley, Minnie Hugelmair, and Eddie Junker.

James Nichols

James Nichols is an African-American doctor and a visitor to Grantville during the wedding of Tom Simpson and Rita Stearns. He is named the New United States chief of health, medical care and sanitation in the days of the Grantville Emergency Committee rule, and is a member of the Emergency Committee Cabinet. A combat veteran of the Vietnam War via the Marines, Nichols is from the rough side of town in Chicago's black ghetto and was a member of the street gang the Blackstone Rangers. He accompanies Stearns and Police Chief Dan Frost immediately after the Ring of Fire, and his presence leads to the survival of several persons who would have perished, including Chief Frost and heart attack victim Balthazar Abrabanel. He later has parts in many minor sequences, including the introduction of the Stone Family in the Ring of Fire story "To Dye For".

He also develops a romantic relationship with Melissa Mailey, even asking her to marry him (her response was, characteristically, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"). He takes her response in stride, happy to simply be with her. Mailey does at one point note that she thinks of Nichols as her "husband in everything but name", but is content to leave things as they are.

Sharon Nichols

Sharon Nichols is the daughter of James Nichols, and was a bridesmaid of Rita Simpson, accounting for her and her father's presence in Grantville on the occasion of the Ring of Fire. She is an important character who has played a role in "A Matter of Consultation" where she and Anne Jefferson give William Harvey a few lessons about medicine. She was betrothed to Hans Richter, and mourned his loss following his death in 1633 . In 1634: The Galileo Affair and its direct sequel 1635: The Cannon Law , she has been promoted into the position of USE "Ambassadoress" [sic] to the Most Serene Republic of Venice and the Papal States. She finds new love, and marries Ruy Sanchez de Casador y Ortiz, factotum to the Spanish Ambassador Cardinal Bedmar.

Gretchen Richter

Gretchen Richter first appears in 1632 , becoming the founder and leader of the Committees of Correspondence. Rescued by Jeff Higgins from rape in the life she was forced into as a camp follower, Gretchen is quick to grasp up-time concepts of democracy and human rights. She spreads these ideas with fervor, and soon Committees of Correspondence are appearing nearly everywhere in Central Europe. She is the granddaughter of Veronica Dreeson and sister to Hans Richter. Gretchen has prominent cameo appearances in virtually all of the books, or is at least mentioned, as the bane of the European autocratic nobility of high and low estates. During the Oxenstierna coup, she organizes the COC and recovering USE veterans to hold Saxony against Baner's army and develops a friendly relationship with Ernst Wettin. After the coup fails, she is made the Protector of Saxony by Gustavus Adolphus.

Hans Richter

Hans Richter is the younger brother to Gretchen. He becomes the first German aircraft pilot, capturing the imagination of the common German townsmen and peasants as he proves that the New United States government is indeed for all the people, not just up-timers from Grantville, in 1633 . He also becomes engaged to Sharon Nichols, before heroically dying in attacking the combined Danish-French fleets in the Battle of Wismar, for which he was posthumously awarded the first Congressional Medal of Honor. News of his death comes close to inspiring German commoners to riot and rebel against the German princes and up-timers. After Mike Stearns turns the situation around, he leverages the unrest to drive home a new accommodation with Gustav II Adolf, and becomes the first prime minister of the new Sweden-led empire: the United States of Europe.

Roth family

Morris and Judith Roth are the only Jewish residents of up-time Grantville. Stearns solicits shelter for Balthasar and Rebecca Abrabanel in the Roth home during the aftermath of the Battle of the farm house. Although the Roths do not keep a kosher orthodox home, Judith welcomes the Abrabanels and makes them comfortable. The alliance between the down-timer Scots cavalry unit and the up-timers is agreed in the Roth's living room, and their kitchen and one of its large tables becomes the war room where the two sides plan out a campaign to protect southern Thuringia from Count Tilly's approaching mercenary forces. In "The Wallenstein Gambit", Morris is persuaded to cooperate with Albrecht Wallenstein in Prague in hopes of averting a future he dreads: the biggest pogrom in history prior to the Holocaust. Judith is the first to understand the upper class role and lifestyle they must adopt in Prague. When Wallenstein and his army are away fighting in "Second Battle of White Mountain", the city is attacked, and Morris is surprised to find himself being something of a hero, leading Prague's Jewish citizens in successfully defending against Heinrich Holk's mercenaries. The Roths also play a major role in The Anaconda Project , and help out in 1636: The Vienna Waltz .

Simpson family

Rita Stearns Simpson and husband Tom Simpson have the distinction of opening 1632 in scenes shared with Mike Stearns and James Nichols. They are celebrating with their guests at their wedding reception when the Ring of Fire happens. Rita, younger sister raised by Mike Stearns since their father's death, is off with her bridesmaids and visiting other guests, enjoying the best day of her life, radiant as all brides should be, while her new husband and brother are trading severe looks with the groom's parents. Tom Simpson opens the flagship novel with a scene where he is apologizing to Mike for his parents' attitude.

Stearns has paid for the wedding and reception, but it is clearly not up to the standards of the big-city big shot snobbish elder John and Mary Simpson, industrialist and socialite both—and they are not hiding their attitudes. Subsequent events in 1632 lead Tom and Rita into total estrangement from John and Mary Simpson for several years.

John Simpson

John Chandler Simpson was introduced in 1632 as a snob who thinks he is better than the West Virginians attending his son's wedding to Mike Stearns' sister Rita, who of course is beneath the Simpsons' station in life. Throughout 1632 he displays arrogance, wanting to keep Grantville to itself, not share Grantville's resources, and not allow immigration. His position against allowing refugees to vote reminds Stearns of Jim Crow Laws. Gathering supporters, he runs against Stearns, but is defeated. He and his wife Mary become completely estranged from their son Tom. He is rehabilitated somewhat in the Ring of Fire story "In the Navy", where Mike Stearns wisely taps him to lead the as-yet-nonexistent USE Navy. He is almost assassinated by agents of Richelieu, and ascends further in esteem and importance in limited scenes of 1633 as a somewhat likeable strong character of principles who will naturally have occasional clashes with the likes of Mike Stearns or Frank Jackson. His past is also revealed in conversations with Stearns, where he states that he was a career Navy officer who only became a businessman after his father died, leaving the family firm to him. Showing how much he has changed, he asked Stearns to help arrange a reconciliation contact with his estranged son Tom and daughter-in-law Rita Stearns, which Mike says he will try to do.

In 1634: The Baltic War , he becomes sympathetic, almost likable, remaining somewhat stiff-necked but a true hero of the book as the navy he carefully builds up takes center stage. As the Ironclads leave Magdeburg, Simpson has to suppress himself from issuing commands, and stand as an observer while a seventeenth-century captain maneuvers the ship. It is a telling personal moment, for after squelching his impulse, Simpson privately admits to himself that developing his little fleet is unquestionably the most satisfactory accomplishment, in a lifetime filled with many achievements.

Mary Simpson

Mary Simpson is the wife John Simpson, and is a socialite with a penchant for organization and fund raising. She did not approve of Rita Stearns as a wife for her son, and admits in 1633 that she treated Rita horribly. She becomes a major figure in Magdeburg society, arranging parties, founding schools and doing important charitable work. She confronts John with the mistakes they both made, and convinces him to urge Gustavus Adolphus to implement tax breaks for charitable works that will bring civilizing culture to Germany. She also tells him she wants to make contact with their son again.

Although she and John Simpson assume that up-time "high society" was no different than down-time nobility, Mike Stearns explains that her common courtesy to her servants is renowned and is partly responsibly for her title "The American Lady". He insists that she appear on the palace steps with other important figures whose presence and speeches help to quell a riot, and although she is terrified, she does it. In 1634: The Bavarian Crisis she accompanies Veronica Dreeson and a trade mission to the Upper Palatinate.

Rita Stearns Simpson

Rita Stearns Simpson is a nurse, the sister of Mike Stearns, and Tom Simpson's wife. Their wedding reception was interrupted by the Ring of Fire. Subsequent events in 1632 lead to Tom and Rita into total estrangement from John and Mary Simpson.

In emerging Early Modern Europe, professional diplomat was not yet a profession and such roles were generally filled by a relation of the "ruler". Since Rita is the sister of Mike Stearns, at that time president of the NUS of the CPoE, she is an acceptable choice for Ambassador. In 1633 she agrees to be the figurehead of an embassy to the court of Charles I of England. Tom accompanies Rita on the mission to London. Without even meeting them, Charles places the party under house arrest, confining them in the Tower of London. Rita provides medical care for the guards, prisoners and families in the tower, earning their loyalty by preventing the diseases which are sweeping the city. After nine months in captivity, the group is rescued in 1634: The Baltic War by Harry Lefferts' commando group, the Wrecking Crew. They escape down the Thames and are met and picked up by a ship brought over by Mike Stearns and carried to The Netherlands.

Tom Simpson

Tom Simpson is the son of John Simpson and Mary Simpson. He weds Mike's sister Rita Stearns, much to his parents' disgust. John and Mary's treatment of Rita leads to Tom's estrangement from them, but Mike Stearns is as good as his word; he manages to arrange a reconciliation between Tom and his parents. Though not quite NFL material, Tom is a huge man and a varsity college football player. In 1632 he joins the New United States Armed Forces out of lack of anything more suitable for his skill set. His talent for picking up languages helps transition German refugees into the nascent USE (United States of Europe) army. He becomes one of the premiere artillery officers in the USE and the unwilling founder of the USE Army Aviation branch.

Henry Sims

Henry Sims is a dentist and brother-in-law of Frank Jackson. He gave his daughter Julie her preferred rifle. In a bit of romantic comedy, he fixes Alexander Mackay's teeth. Dr. Sims has run out of anesthetic, but Alex would face worse than a dentist's drill to look good to Julie, his "Queen of Hearts". Like Mike Stearns and Frank Jackson, Henry doesn't care much for Julie's football-captain boy-friend Chip Jenkins, but all approve of Captain Alexander Mackay. How much the dental work helped we never find out, but Alex does win Julie's heart, and toward the end of 1632 they get married. In the Virginia DeMarce short story "Biting Time", he offers support as family forces rally to convince Veronica Richter to be fitted for false teeth. His assistance is also implied at the end of "Here Comes Santa Claus" by K.D. Wentworth, when Wallenstein makes it clear he'd like repairs to his jaw and teeth, which were shattered by a bullet from Julie's rifle almost half a mile away.

Michael "Mike" Stearns

Michael Stearns is the most frequently appearing central character. A United Mine Workers Union official, he dropped out of college and was a prize fighter for several years in California, where he lost his lady love under tragic circumstances. Stearns returned to a union career and raised his younger sister Rita when his father took ill and died some years before the time Ring of Fire. Having a core group of other union men around him at his sister's wedding, organizers like Harry Lefferts and friend Frank Jackson, Mike and his men are deputized by Chief of Police Dan Frost when he is shot by one of Tilly's mercenaries shortly after the Ring of Fire. He opposes John Simpson a few days later in a town meeting, and finds at the end of the encounter he has been elected by acclaim as Head of an Emergency Committee responsible for the town's early efforts to survive the war-torn early seventeenth century. Subsequently, he is elected president of the New United States and later appointed by Gustavus Adolphus as the first prime minister of the United States of Europe. After losing an election to Wilhelm Wettin in 1634, he is made a Major General in the Army of the USE, commanding the Third Division, where he makes a name for himself in the wars against Saxony, Brandenburg, the Poles, the Oxenstierna coup, and the Turks.

Rebecca Stearns

Rebecca (Abrabanel) Stearns is a Sephardic Jew, daughter of Balthazar Abrabanel. She and her father were rescued by the UMWA posse. She fell in love with and eventually married Mike Stearns in 1632 , and became a prominent political figure and diplomat in her own right. When Mike becomes Prime Minister of the USE she becomes his co-ruler, an unheard-of position for a Jew in Europe. In 1636: The Saxon Uprising she masterminds the defeat of Axel Oxenstierna's counter-revolution. After the collapse of Oxenstierna's coup, she becomes the USE Secretary of State. While an ambassador to the Netherlands during the siege of Amsterdam, she adopts an orphaned Jewish boy (the philosopher "Baruch Espinoza," nicknamed "Barry" by her husband and friends) and is the mother of two daughters, Sepharad ("Sephie") and Kathleen.

Stone family

The Stone family is introduced by series guest writer Mercedes Lackey in the Ring of Fire story "To Dye For". Headed by aging pharmacology student Tom "Stoner" Stone, the family is the remnant of a failed Grantville commune. Long before the Ring of Fire, the other hippies had departed, taking their girl children, but leaving three young boys with Tom as a "good role-model".

Tom Stone

Tom "Stoner" Stone is a laid back non-businessman who "tuned in and dropped out" in the early seventies, leaving pharmacology graduate school at Purdue University to join the Lothlorien Commune outside Grantville. After the commune fell apart, Tom took care of the three boys like they were his own, although only one is for sure. In addition to teaching himself subsistence farming, he provided for his small family by raising improved strains of cannabis in a home-built greenhouse and selling it to an out-of-town contact to avoid trouble with the law. He successfully bribed the kids to keep it secret by promising not to reveal their real names.

In the Ring of Fire story "To Dye For", Tom is frustrated by his affection for Magda, whose guildmaster father has deemed him unsuitable due to his lack of material wealth. Initially, Tom's colorful tie-dyed shirts had signaled "money" in a society where only the rich can afford colors. Tom refuses to accept any profit for his cannabis, since it is for medical purposes – he will not make a profit from the pain of others. However, thinking about colors inspires Tom to put his knowledge of chemistry to work, and the results bring him wealth and his desired bride.

Aided by the high school's science department, Stoner goes on to apply his pharmacological knowledge to develop simpler (early era) antibiotics such as chloramphenicol and some sulfa drugs as well as the insecticide DDT—which are still used in third world countries because they are easy and inexpensive to make compared to alternatives used later in developed countries.

By 1633, "Doctor Professor Stoner" is firmly established as an increasingly rich and famous dye maker, pharmacologist and chemist. He is named as the medical attache to the New United States of Europe's first embassy delegation sent to the Most Serene Republic of Venice ( 1634: The Galileo Affair ). He accepts a year's posting to lecture at the University of Padua to spread his scientific knowledge.

Magda Stone

Daughter of guildmaster Karl Jurgen Edelmann, Magdelena was a spinster in her early thirties wasting away doing the books for her father's business. When she accompanied a delegation from her town to visit Grantville, she met her soul-mate, Tom Stone. His initial courting was received with favor because the family was impressed with the wealth on display in Grantville, at least until her father realized "Stoner" wasn't the man of means he'd mistaken him to be. The romantic personal growth journey from crushing blow to triumphant groom is told in Mercedes Lackey's story "To Dye For".

In 1633, Magda accompanies her wizard of a husband to Italy, as part of the Embassy to Venice and also to lecture at the University of Padua in the novel 1634: The Galileo Affair . There, she takes her husband's wealth and uses her business acumen to build it into a fortune, turning them into the "wealthiest family in Europe". Ably assisted by Sharon Nichols and a Jewish lawyer, the two women intend to shop from a list of needed commodities put together by Grantville's Research and Development establishment. Incensed by the prevailing cultural attitude that only men have a head for business, they proceed to use the power of radio communications to fleece all comers and dominate the Venetian and Baltic commodities markets for Grantville's entire shopping list, plus a lot more.

After that bravura performance, Magda drops into the background in the series and is presumably happily counting Stoner's money and raising his sons. However, her uncompromising German views include using the boys' real names.

Frank Stone

Named Faramir at birth, he is the oldest of "Stoner's" three sons, and the only one who is definitely his genetic child. Frank is a central character in 1634: The Galileo Affair . He first does everything in his power to delay the Venice Committee of Correspondence from a zany idea to rescue Galileo from the authorities of the Inquisition, and when duped along with everyone else in the committee, winds up becoming the de nomine leader of the rescue attempt. He takes a further foray onto center stage in 1635: The Cannon Law when attempts to start a business along with a Committee of Correspondence chapter in Rome with his new and pregnant wife Giovanna.

Gerry Stone

Named Gwaihir, the youngest of the three Stone brothers sports "stop-sign red" hair, making it quite certain that he is not Tom Stone's natural son. Gerry's stoned mother simply could not remember anyone else's last name when it was time to fill out the birth certificate. He is nonetheless treated as his own by the "responsible hippie". After the events of The Cannon Law, his guilt over killing a would-be assassin lead him to seeking to become a Lutheran pastor.

Ron Stone

Given the name Elrond, the middle Stone brother might be Tom's son – even he is not sure. However, the brothers have grown up together and consider themselves family. In returning to Grantville after the family adventures in the Italian States, in 1635: The Dreeson Incident he begins a serious relationship with Melissa Marie "Missy" Jenkins. After they are married, they become important characters in Scarface in Ring of Fire IV .

Red Sybolt

Red Sybolt is introduced by veteran science fiction writer K. D. Wentworth in "The Three R's" where he aids an emissary of Comenius of the Moravian Church. He is mentioned a few times as an old colleague, a master "labor organizer" (revolutionary) and close friend of Mike Stearns. He appears as a brief referenced party recommended to Morris Roth in Flint's "The Wallenstein Gambit", and that early plotting finally begins fruiting in the long awaited Eastern European Thread in The Anaconda Project .

Franz Sylwester

Franz Sylwester is a crippled down and out down-timer musician – and former maestro violinist introduced in "The Sound of Music"  – who was victimized by a rival for his prestigious post as first violinist of the Cathedral of Mainz. His left (fingering) hand was deliberately mutilated by his rival, such that he can no longer play the violin. Sylwester makes his way eking out an existence writing correspondence for the illiterate. He gradually wends his way to Grantville, where he is exposed to modern Rock and Roll (which appalls him), but also to modern musical knowledge from "Master Herr Professor Wendell" (the high school music teacher), and a local girl, Marla Linder, a singer-musician that befriends him. From both he learns about the breadth and depth of modern musical instruments and the systematized musical theory available from these strange people from the future. He also becomes emotionally entangled with Marla, while fighting off feelings of unworthiness since he is crippled and cannot hope to support her. Author David Carrico brings the two characters back in a succession of stories beginning with "Heavy Metal Music", in effect serializing stories told primarily from Sylwester's viewpoint, and uses the character, with the help of the good-natured Marla, to explore interactions between the 1630s musical world and the intriguing blended culture coming into existence in central Europe.

At Marla's suggestion, Franz reverses the order of the four strings of his violin and learns to play it left-handed (holding the bow in his left hand and fingering with his undamaged right hand), and in "Command Performance" Franz demonstrates his newly learned left-handed mastery of the violin at a triumphant debut concert. Hosted by the redoubtable "Dame of Magdeburg" Mary Simpson, the concert also features Marla and the expanding circle of her down-timer students. The same tale is used as background to introduce the Simpsons into the novel 1634: The Baltic War toward the conclusion of the events around the industrial accident and river set ablaze that begins the novel.

Len Trout

Len Trout is the Grantville High School Assistant Principal and school disciplinarian at the time of the Ring of Fire, and succeeds Ed Piazza as Principal. He was killed off heroically in defense of the school gymnasium entrance when Croatian raiders broke through the doors.

Larry Wild

Larry Wild is one of the Four Musketeers introduced midway through the novel 1632 , and is the central character in "When the Chips are Down", which canonically reveals some of the problems and solutions incorporated into the Emergency Committee policy of Gearing down. Wild is killed in the Battle of Wismar while piloting the most capable speed boat, "The Outlaw", as the Grantvillers support Gustav's Confederated Principalities of Europe under the onslaught of League of Ostend naval forces accompanying invading expeditionary forces. His death, along with that of aviator Hans Richter inspires the feelings of nationalism that shortly afterwards sweep through central Germany and result in the new stronger government of the United States of Europe with Mike Stearns as first prime minister.

Jesse Wood

Colonel Joseph "Jesse" Wood is a retired United States Air Force tanker pilot and has been involved from the outset in the NUS/USE efforts to develop basic aircraft and build an air force. He is unpretentious and informal with a tendency to calmness when others would panic, perhaps necessary traits in the NUS air force's sole test pilot. He has a bent for organization and through the loss of his protégé, Hans Richter, in the Battle of Wismar, has developed a strong dislike for the opponents of the NUS and Gustavus Adolphus. During the winter of 1633–34 Wood organizes a "message sending" demonstration to bomb Paris, and lets Cardinal Richelieu know just what the up-timers and Gustavus's administration (now reorganized as the United States of Europe) think of Richelieu's recent changes in French foreign policy which resulted in the League of Ostend and a French army besieging Gustav in Lübeck. He is referred to by both allies and enemies as Der Adler (the Eagle).

Related Research Articles

<i>1632</i> (novel) Alternate history novel by Eric Flint; first in the 1632 series

1632 is the initial novel in the best-selling alternate history book series, "1632", written by American historian, writer, and editor Eric Flint.

<i>The Grantville Gazette</i>

The Grantville Gazette is the first of a series of professionally selected and edited paid fan fiction anthologies set within the 1632 series inspired by Eric Flint's novel 1632. The electronically published the Grantville Gazettes, which are reaching long novel length with regularity, now make up the majority of the series in terms of words in print. Flint as series owner and editor accounts all as canonical. The Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) recognizes published stories within the Gazettes as qualified credentials for membership—which membership requires a writer to have three published works as prerequisites.

Heilbronn League Anti-Imperial alliance between France, Sweden and Western German Allies

The Heilbronn League was formed in the Free Imperial City of Heilbronn, on 23 April 1633, during the Thirty Years' War. Led by Sweden, it brought together various Protestant states in western and northern Germany. It was supported by Saxony and Brandenburg-Prussia, although they were not members.

<i>1632</i> series Novel series

The 1632 series, also known as the 1632-verse or Ring of Fire series, is an alternate history book series and sub-series created, primarily co-written, and coordinated by American author Eric Flint and published by Baen Books.

<i>Ring of Fire</i> (anthology)

Ring of Fire is the third published book by editor-author-historian Eric Flint of the 1632 series, an alternate history series begun in the novel 1632. The Ring of Fire is both descriptive of the cosmic event as experienced by the series' characters, but also is at times used as the name for the series itself. The series is set in war-torn Europe during the middle of the Thirty Years' War.

<i>1633</i> (novel)

1633 is an alternate history novel co-written by American authors Eric Flint and David Weber published in 2002, and sequel to 1632 in the 1632 series. 1633 is the second major novel in the series and together with the anthology Ring of Fire, the two sequels begin the series hallmarks of being a shared universe with collaborative writing being very common, as well as one that, far more unusually, mixes many canonical anthologies with its works of novel length. That is because Flint wrote 1632 as a stand-alone novel, though with enough "story hooks" for an eventual sequel, and because Flint feels "history is messy" and the books reflect that real life is not a smooth, polished linear narrative flow from the pen of some historian but is instead clumps of semi-related or unrelated happenings that somehow sum up how different people act in their own self-interests.

<i>1634: The Ram Rebellion</i>

1634: The Ram Rebellion is the seventh published work in the 1632 alternate history book series, and is the third work to establish what is best considered as a "main plot line or thread" of historical speculative focus that are loosely organized and classified geographically. The initial main thread is called the "Western and North-Central Europe thread" ; the second plot line, encompassing events in Italy, Spain, the Mediterranean region, and France, the "South European thread", and this book can be considered the starting novel of the "South-Central/South-East thread" being set in southern Germany, Austria, Bavaria, and Bohemia. This geographically organized plot thread actually began in Ring of Fire in Flint's novelette "The Wallenstein Gambit" which is set in Bohemia, Austria, and Germany, which tied into stories in various Grantville Gazettes.

<i>Grantville Gazette II</i>

Grantville Gazette II is the third collaborative anthology published in print set in the 1632-verse shared universe in what is best regarded as a canonical sub-series of the popular alternate history that began with the February 2000 publication of the hardcover novel 1632 by author-historian Eric Flint. Baen Books and Flint decline the distinction, counting this book as the sixth published work. Overall it is also the third anthology in printed publication in the atypical series, which consists of a mish-mash of main novels and anthologies produced under popular demand after publication of the initial novel, which was written as a stand-alone work.

<i>1634: The Galileo Affair</i>

1634: The Galileo Affair is the fourth book and third novel published in the 1632 series. It is co-written by American authors Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis and was published in 2004. It follows the activities of an embassy party sent from the United States of Europe (Grantville) to Venice, Italy, where the three young Stone brothers become involved with the local Committees of Correspondence and the Inquisition's trial of Galileo Galilei.

<i>1634: The Baltic War</i>

1634: The Baltic War is a sequel to both the first-of-type sequels, Ring of Fire and 1633, co-written by American authors Eric Flint and David Weber published in 2007. It had to await schedule co-ordination by the two authors, which proved difficult and delayed the work by nearly two years. It continues theMain or Central European threadcentered on the newly organized United States of Europe birthed in Central Germany under the protection-by-arms of Emperor Gustavus Adolphus and in particular, the role of the citizens of Grantville, now of Thuringia, and the capital city of Magdeburg have to play on the world stage. With the stability imposed by the protection of Gustavus's armies, up-timers began migrating to other locales in the "neohistories" world as the year 1633 closed.

<i>Grantville Gazette III</i>

The Grantville Gazette III is the third collaborative and the fourth anthology in the 1632 series edited by the series creator, Eric Flint. It was published as an e-book by Baen Books in October 2004. It was released as a hardcover in January 2007, and trade paperback in June 2008 with both editions containing Flint's story "Postage Due".

Grantville is a fictional town in Marion County, West Virginia that appears in Eric Flint's 1632 series. The American town – including land, people, resources and all – was transported back in time from the year 2000 to the middle of 17th-century Europe in central Germany by irresponsible aliens.

<i>1634: The Bavarian Crisis</i>

1634: The Bavarian Crisis is a novel in the alternate history 1632 series, written by Virginia DeMarce and Eric Flint as sequel to Flint's novella "The Wallenstein Gambit"; several short stories by DeMarce in The Grantville Gazettes; 1634: The Ram Rebellion; and 1634: The Baltic War. The novel's first draft was completed in 2005, before work on The Baltic War began. Many chapters of that "early draft version" were available on line, but the final production reached print on October 1, 2007.

Virginia Easley DeMarce is a historian who specializes in early modern European history, as well as a New York Times Best Selling author in the 1632 series collaborative fiction project. She has done genealogical work on the origins of the Melungeon peoples.

<i>Ring of Fire II</i>

Ring of Fire II is a 2008 anthology created by editor-author-historian Eric Flint. It is the second anthology in the 1632 series following after Ring of Fire (2004).

<i>1635: The Dreeson Incident</i>

1635: The Dreeson Incident (2008) is a novel in the alternate history 1632 series, written by Virginia DeMarce and Eric Flint, as a sequel to Flint's novella 1634: The Bavarian Crisis.

<i>1635: The Eastern Front</i>

1635: The Eastern Front is an alternate history novel by Eric Flint in the 1632 series, first published in hardcover by Baen Books on October 5, 2010, with a paperback edition following from the same publisher in November 2011. It is a sequel to 1635: The Tangled Web and is directly continued by 1636: The Saxon Uprising.

The following are some of the terms used in the 1632 series.

This is complete list of works by American science fiction and historical fiction author Eric Flint.