Latest from the H for History blog

Historical fiction, ancestry and artefacts

Posted on: 07/07/2017 with tags: ancestry, archaeology, artefacts, David Gibbins, history, Testament

My most recent novel, TESTAMENT, contains five chapters of historical fiction – a prologue set at the time of the Phoenicians in the 6th century BC, two chapters set during the British Abyssinia campaign of 1868-9 and another two chapters at Bletchley Park in 1943. That emphasis on historical fiction continues the pattern of my eight previous Jack Howard novels, all present-day thrillers but with settings ranging from the earliest seafaring in the Neolithic to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem…

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Discover the audio editions of Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series

Posted on: 23/06/2017 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, Audio, henry viii, Jane Seymour, katherine of aragon, LoveAudio, Six Tudor Queens, Tudor

It’s #LoveAudio Week this week, and we’re celebrating some of our best-loved historical authors and their audiobooks. Up today is the brilliant Alison Weir, author of the Six Tudor Queens series. Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen  Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by bestselling historian Alison Weir, author of The Lost Tudor Princess, is the first in a spellbinding six novel series about Henry VIII’s Queens. Alison takes you on an engrossing journey at Katherine’s side and shows her extraor…

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The best historical audiobooks – Anthony Riches

Posted on: 21/06/2017 with tags: Anthony Riches, historical fiction, Roman

It’s #LoveAudio Week this week, and we’re celebrating some of our best-loved historical authors and their audiobooks. Top of the list is Anthony Riches, author of the Empire and Centurions series. Wounds of Honour (Empire I), read by Saul Reichlin: 13 hours, 32 minutes ‘A master of the genre’ The Times Marcus Aquila has scarcely landed in Britannia when he has to run for his life – condemned to dishonorable death by power-crazed emperor Commodus. The plan is to take a new name, serve in an obscu…

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Letters From The Suitcase – What Mary Did Next

Posted on: 02/06/2017 20th Century, WW2

Letters From The Suitcase is an enchanting, poignant and incredibly moving account of the five year early marriage between two lovers divided by war – and the legacy they left for their only child. Written by Cal and Rosheen Finnagan, this is a hugely detailed wartime correspondance between Rosheen’s parents, David and Mary Francis. Here Rosheen Finnigan tells us what happened next to her mother Mary. Shortly after my father’s death, my mother met a man who told her she was ‘made for the documen…

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An exclusive extract from By Blood Divided by James Heneage

Posted on: 01/06/2017 with tags: author blog, extract, historical fiction, historical novel, James Heneage, Medieval, medieval history, European, Medieval, Middle Ages

By Blood Divided is the new standalone novel from James Heneage, which has been collecting praise form fellow historical fiction writers at the rate Henry VIII collected wives (basically it’s getting lots). To celebrate it’s publication day, we’re treating you to this exclusive extract – enjoy! ‘A dramatic read from the very outset’ Simon Scarrow ‘A fast-moving and superbly intelligent adventure’ Jason Goodwin ‘A stirring tale of the struggle for Byzantium, Heneage brings to life both the traged…

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Anne Boleyn on 19th May 1536 – Alison Weir

Posted on: 22/05/2017 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, Beheaded, Exeuction, henry viii, Six Tudor Queens, Tudor

On 19th May, 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was beheaded for treason, having been accused of adultery with five men, one her own brother, and with plotting the death of the King. It was probably in order to avoid a bungled decapitation, and a horrific scene on the scaffold, that the executioner of Calais, an expert swordsman, was sent for to despatch her in the continental manner. This was a much cleaner, kinder and more precise method of execution than death by the axe. The…

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Waiting for D-Day – Marianne Kavanagh on the week before Operation Neptune

Posted on: 18/05/2017 with tags: English History, historical fiction, world war II, WW2

Six days form the structure of SHOULD YOU ASK ME – six days in May 1944 just before D-Day. This is how long it takes 86-year-old Mary to tell her story to William, a young policeman recently invalided out of the army, and for William in turn to confess. With wartime resources stretched to the limit, Mary’s tale of two long-dead bodies is not considered high priority. Only William has the time to listen. Meanwhile, both inside and outside the small rural police station in Dorset, it feels as if v…

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A few words from Damien Lewis on his new book, Operation Relentless

Posted on: 18/05/2017

Damien Lewis gives us an insight into his new book, Operation Relentless, publishing today.   In 2008 the world’s foremost arms-dealer to rebel and terrorist groups was sentenced in a US court to 25 years without parole. For decades fugitive Russian Viktor Bout – better known as the Merchant of Death / Lord of War – had been hunted by an alphabet soup of agencies. Why? Bout was trading arms for gems and drugs, fuelling the global nexus of narco-terrorism. But more worryingly, Bout – former Sovie…

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Spy Fever: how spy lies led to the creation of the Secret Service

Posted on: 17/05/2017 with tags: author blog, conspiracy theories, crime fiction, English History, historical crime, historical fiction, 20th Century

For a historical novelist, the usual way of things is to delve into history, to look at what’s interesting or important, a setting, an event, a time period – we write into this, try to recreate, re-imagine, re-use as we see fit. But what happens when this gets turned on its head, when fiction starts turning into fact? In writing my first historical novel – The Irregular, set in 1909 – I discovered a startling example of invention becoming real, of fiction (spy fiction no less) having a very prof…

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Matilda by David Churchill

Posted on: 16/05/2017 with tags: david churchill, devil, duke, leopards of normandy, Matilda of Flanders, william the conqueror, Norman

One of my favourite aspects of the story of William the Conqueror is his relationship with his wife, Matilda of Flanders. Unlike any previous Duke of Normandy, William had one wife, who was the mother of all his children, and is not known to have had any mistresses or sired any bastards. Now, this may say less about his fidelity than the fact that he was so powerful that no chronicler dared tell any negative stories about him. But had he produced any illegitimate sons, they would have grown up t…

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