Teaser Tuesday: Friends of Peniche

It’s the little details that make a writer’s day.

I won’t be telling you too much if I let you know that a crucial piece of Pink XII is slotted to take place around the coastal city of Peniche, in Portugal. As I was doing my crash course on Portugal and Portuguese culture in 1807 and 1808, I came upon a local saying: “amigos de Peniche”.

The meaning? False friends.

Apparently, the origin of the phrase comes from the sixteenth century, when Sir Francis Drake (yes, that Sir Francis Drake!) led an expedition to Portugal to restore Don Antonio to the throne. A force under the command of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, landed at Peniche, and the word went down the coast to Lisbon, “Our friends are coming from Peniche….”

Only, they didn’t. They camped out for a bit outside the gates of Lisbon, gave up, and went home. There may or may not have been some looting along the way.

Hence “friends of Peniche”: false friends.

I have a feeling this will come in handy for Pink XII….


  1. Pat D on September 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I’d like to know what Essex was thinking. That has to be one of the lamest expeditions I have ever heard of!

  2. Marie Turner on September 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    We must be on the same wavelength! I just watched “Anonymous” starring Rhys Ifans as Edward de Vere and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I. Essex was there, of course, to lead his botched rebellion.

    I then went down a little rabbit hole reading about the Oxfordian and Baconian theories of Shakespearean authorship.

  3. Betty S. on September 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Very interesting. In July I read Treachery, S. J. Parris’s 4th book about Monk Giordano Bruno, which takes place in Plymouth in 1585 where a murder has been committed aboard Sir Francis Drake’s ship just as he is preparing for a voyage to the New World. Bruno is accompanying Sir Phillip Sidney to Plymouth where they are to pick up Don Antonio from Drake and escort him to safety in London, which was promised to him by Queen Elizabeth.

    Apparently during this time period Antonio was used by both Elizabeth and Catherine de Medici as a pawn in their fight against Phillip of Spain. What amazing facts can be found out by reading historical fiction! I love it when facts cross over in several books.

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