Latest from the H for History blog

Rewriting History

Posted on: 18/11/2013 with tags: 11.22.63, alternate history, anniversaries, assassination, author blog, book giveaway, competition, conspiracy theories, historical fiction, history, JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, prizes, rewrite history, Stephen King

This Friday, 22nd November, will be the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Over the past couple of weeks, the British press has been full of articles about the event itself, the aftermath, the various conspiracies surrounding it, and, of course, how different the world might be had Kennedy survived. Last year, Hodder & Stoughton published Stephen King’s 11.22.63, in which the author imagines what it would be like to prevent JFK’s assassination. We thought we…

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BRETHREN by Robyn Young in the Kindle Select 25!

Posted on: 15/11/2013 with tags: Amazon, bestseller, Brethren, crusades, historical fiction, Kindle, robyn young, trilogy

We’re thrilled to see that BRETHREN, Robyn Young’s debut historical novel which was a worldwide bestseller and international sensation when first published in 2009, has this week been hand-picked by the Kindle team at Amazon as one of their favourite books! You can see the full list here. From the burning plains of Syria to the filthy backstreets of Paris and London, Brethren is the story of Will Campbell, coming of age in a time of conspiracy, passion, politics and war. Will has bee…

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Remember, Remember

Posted on: 14/11/2013 with tags: backlist, BBC, Cold War, espionage, Len Deighton, Mulholland, spies, Ted Allbeury, thrillers

It is the season of remembrance, not just of the wars but also their aftermath. The shadowy world of Cold War espionage, characterised so memorably in the great British spy thriller tradition, is familiar territory to most of us but perhaps the time has come to take a fresh look. BBC2 seems to think so. It is launching a season of drama and documentaries that look back to the time when Britain lived in the shadow of the Cold War. The highlight of the season is Legacy, an espionage thriller commi…

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HAPPY UN-BIRTHDAY, ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON – by Nancy Horan

Posted on: 12/11/2013 with tags: author blog, birthday, historical fiction, history, Nancy Horan, Robert Louis Stevenson, Scotland, Treasure Island

Today is Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday. How I wish that I could sit down and celebrate it with him. Since embarking on a novel about him five years ago, I have come to think of him as the one man in history with whom I’d most enjoy spending a day. He was admired in his own time as a brilliant, hilarious, and provocative conversationalist. Could we manage to communicate across the 120-year gap since his death in 1894? What would he think of our world? I suspect he’d have strong opinions about…

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SNIP, CLIP, PASS – by Aly Monroe

Posted on: 11/11/2013 with tags: aly monroe, American history, author post, Black Bear, blog, Cold War, historical fiction, historical novel, Hitler, nazi germany, Operation Paperclip, Peter Cotton, President Truman, scientist, war criminal, war trials, Wernher von Braun, world war II

At the end of WW2, the US government began an Operation called ‘Overcast’. At first its aim was simply to ‘interview’ a number of German scientists. Within a very short time the Operation was re-named. It became ‘Operation Paperclip’ – one of the very few with a name that described what the Operation actually did. The Operation Paperclip team at Fort Bliss. When the trials of Nazi war criminals began, President Harry S Truman assured the American people that his government would have nothing to…

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Authors Rebecca Mascull and Katherine Clements interview each other!

Posted on: 08/11/2013 with tags: author interview, authors, debut novel, eighteenth century, english civil war, English History, fact, fiction, historical events, historical fiction, historical record, historical research, history, inspiration, katherine clements, literary fiction, real characters, Rebecca Mascull, seventeenth century, the crimson ribbon, The Visitors, writing

Rebecca Mascull Katherine Clements Why do you write historical fiction? RM: As with many debut novelists, my first published novel, THE VISITORS, is not in fact my first completed novel. I wrote three novels before this and only one of these was an historical novel. My third novel was set during World War II, in both London and Poland. At the time, it seemed ridiculously ambitious and I was certain I wouldn’t be able to do it. I researched that novel full-time for over a year, read over a…

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GHOST RULES, by Rebecca Mascull

Posted on: 31/10/2013 with tags: debut novel, ghost story, ghosts, halloween, historical fiction, Rebecca Mascull, The Visitors

I’ve always loved a good ghost story, yet I’d never written one before. When I conceived the idea for the book which became THE VISITORS, I knew it would be about a deaf-blind girl, I knew there would be a love story and a war, but I had no idea there would be ghosts. I certainly did not intend they would take over the whole story and even the title of the novel. Originally, the setting of the story was just after the American Civil War. Thinking about my main character one day, I suddenly had a…

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A Soul Cake for All Hallows’ Eve

Posted on: 31/10/2013 with tags: All Hallows' Eve, An Appetite for Violets, food, Food Historian, Food History, halloween, historical fiction, history, Martine Bailey, Soul Cakes

It is the end of October, the fields are bare, the leaves have been blown from the trees, and the nights are growing longer. The darkness is coming. At this time of year we celebrate the end of summer and the cycle of death and rebirth. From as far back as anyone can remember, on one special night we gather together to share food and drink, play tricks and games. It is a time to connect with our ancestors, and honor the dead. In my home county of Cheshire this gathering has long had a unique nam…

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History Lives at Harrogate History Festival!

Posted on: 25/10/2013 with tags: Anthony Riches, authors, events, Harrogate History Festival, Lindsey Davis, michael jones, philippa langley, robyn young

The inaugural Harrogate History Festival kicks off this afternoon! We are delighted that many of our authors will be attending. Find out when you can see our authors: The Search for Richard IIILearn more about Richard III with The King’s Grave authors Philippa Langley and Michael Jones Friday 25th October 2013The Old Swan Hotel, 8:30pm To Battle! – Conflict in FictionInsurrection Trilogy author,Robyn Young,  will be speaking on a panel with Rob Low and A. L. Berridge. Saturday 26th October…

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Even the Cake was in Tiers (in honour of Episode 10 – the Finale – of The Great British Bake Off

Posted on: 22/10/2013 with tags: An Appetite for Violets, baking, food, history, Hoefnagel, Martine Bailey, The Great British Bake Off, tiered cake, Wedding, Wedding cake

It’s the grand finale of The Great British Bake Off this week, and what could be more fitting than to bake a tiered wedding cake? No bakery item is so laden with superstition, folklore and potential difficulty. Attempting to follow the crumb trail back through history, we discover bride cakes pictured in about 1570 in Hoefnagel’s A Wedding Fete at Bermondsey. Hoefnagel’s A Wedding Fete at Bermondsey showing bride cakes. Looking like gigantic trays slung around the necks of young men parading jus…

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