Latest from the H for History blog

Why the Balkan War?

Posted on: 21/04/2016 with tags: annabelle thorpe, Balkan War, the people we were before, 20th Century, European

‘Wars are not easy to sell.’ one agent wrote to me, when I was trying to find a home for The People We Were Before, ‘And the Balkan War? That’s more difficult than most.’ It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but in all honesty it wasn’t a huge surprise. From 1990-1995 a vicious, horrible civil war took place in the heart of Europe. Our continent. And yet most people know little about it and understand even less. Before I wrote The People We Were Before, I was one of them. When I decided to write a n…

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Reading to accompany Eden Gardens

Posted on: 21/04/2016 with tags: colonialism, eden gardens, India, louise brown, Asian History

Louise Brown collates some additional reading and the books she used in her research of Eden Gardens. Many of the books that have contributed to the making of Eden Gardens are out of print. The following is a small selection of things I’ve found useful, and that are still widely available either because they are in print, or can be found in libraries and second hand book shops. Novels and short stories Bardhan, Kalpana, (ed.) Of Women, Outcastes, Peasants, and Rebels: A Selection of Bengali Shor…

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What to expect from The Leopards of Normandy

Posted on: 21/04/2016 with tags: david churchill, duke, leopards of normandy, normans, tom cain, william of normandy, william the conqueror, Medieval, Norman

On publication of Duke, the second book in his Leopards of Normandy series author David Churchill outlines what you can expect. Book. 1: The Devil And His Bastard Son  Robert of Normandy is a young man in a hurry. He’s handsome, brave, impetuous, and he’s just seized Normandy’s mightiest castle. But Robert has an older brother, Richard. He’s the Duke of Normandy. He wants his castle back. And he’ll take it by force if he has to. Herleva of Falaise is the daughter of a humble tanner, but she’s mo…

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Poor whites – Loafers, Vagrants and ‘Low Europeans’

Posted on: 20/04/2016 with tags: british raj, colonialism, eden gardens, indian rebellion, louise brown, Asian History

Louise Brown, author of Eden Gardens, explains more about the invisibility of poor whites in the British Raj. Poor whites do not figure prominently in the histories of the British Raj. ‘Low Europeans’, as they were called at the time, can be found in the writings of Rudyard Kipling, but, today, most people’s image of the British in colonial India is formed by the social world of the sahibs and memsahibs, usually the middle class servants of Empire who aped the manners of the Victorian and Edward…

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An appetite for The Graveyard of the Hesperides

Posted on: 14/04/2016 with tags: Flavia Albia, Lindsey Davis, The Graveyard of the Hesperides, Roman

My novels are always rooted in daily life, so they tend to contain a lot of food and drink. If characters want to be written by me, they must have good appetites. They do other things that are often omitted from novels; they go to the lavatory, they catch colds, the women have periods. But in general much of the story takes place during meals. This is for two reasons. It’s a convenient way to get two or more people sitting down while they hold a conversation about their adventure. And I myself a…

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A review of The Lion of Mistra

Posted on: 13/04/2016 with tags: Byzantine empire, James Heneage, Reviews, The Lion of Mistra, Roman

I had not read one of James Heneage’s Rise of Empires novels before and despite having quite a good (or so I thought) knowledge of history, the Byzantine empire was a definite gap, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I picked up the third in the series The Lion of Mistra. What a fantastic surprise it turned out to be! The novel follows the exploits of Luke Magoris who must trade, battle and hunt for treasure in his desperate attempt to save Mistra, the last great outpost of Imperial Rome…

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Best historical fiction out in April

Posted on: 31/03/2016 with tags: new books, Reviews

The Lion of Mistra James Heneage Rome never fell. It became Byzantium … As Ottoman forces invade, one man must defend his country and face his own personal destiny. A rich tale of clashing empires and trade wars, lost treasure and tempestuous love in an age when the fate of the world hung on the survival of Byzantium. It was an era that made the modern world and a place that was then, as now, the hinge between east and west. Luke Magoris, descendant of princes of England, is a man with a rare ta…

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How the Nazis built the biggest hotel in the world

Posted on: 22/03/2016 with tags: guy saville, Hitler, nazis, The Madagaskar Plan, world war II, WW2

Think of the Nazis and what comes to mind? Hitler’s demagoguery and massed ranks of black uniforms? The war? The Holocaust? What you probably don’t think of is package holidays, cruise-ships and beach resorts. Yet the Nazis were at the forefront of modern tourism. Shortly after coming to power they established Kraft durch Freude (KdF: Strength through Joy), a leisure organisation. By 1937 it was the biggest tour operator in the world, organising cheap holidays for over 1.4 million people – as lo…

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Best historical fiction out in March

Posted on: 01/03/2016 with tags: Book Recommendations

The Emperor’s Silver Nick Brown Cassius Cobulo, agent of Imperial Rome, returns in his most incredible adventure yet… Still recovering from his previous assignment in Arabia, imperial agent Cassius Corbulo has been spending most of his time and money on women and wine. Unfortunately for him, word of his achievements has reached the emperor Aurelian’s deputy and he is sent north, tasked with smashing a counterfeiting gang. Cassius tracks the criminals to the city of Berytus, where his investigati…

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