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Pied Piper: Memories of World War Two

Posted on: 07/08/2017 with tags: author blog, English History, historical fiction, historical novel, world war II, 20th Century, WW2

In this charming essay, author Frank White, whose novel There Was A Time, was published recently by Hodder & Stoughton, shares two memories of the earliest days of the Second World War. During the second and third weeks of August, 1939, our family was  in Wales  – at Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey. We were in Mr. Evans’ cottage, which sat, isolated and self-absorbed, hiding its face behind festoons of ivy, five strides from the beach.  When we arrived, on the Saturday afternoon, we found a bunch of…

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The Venice that inspired CITY OF MASKS

Posted on: 07/08/2017 with tags: author blog, historical fiction, medieval history, s d sykes, Venice, European, Renaissance

Author SD Sykes introduces the Venice that has inspired her latest novel, City of Masks. The approach from the sea.  My first visit to Venice was in 1982, and we had crossed the modern road bridge by car and then parked near the railway station. I’m not criticizing this way of approaching Venice, except that it slightly misses the point of this place. In my opinion, Venice is best approached from the water, so that you can really appreciate her as a city of the Sea. The first time I had the oppo…

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Tuesday Tidbits from Karen Maitland

Posted on: 25/07/2017 with tags: karen maitland, Medieval facts, The Plague Charmer, Tuesday Tidbits, Medieval, Middle Ages

A jolly John of Gaunt! One Lammas Day, John of Gaunt was riding through Ratby in Leicester when some locals invited him to join in their festivities for the end of the haymaking. He enjoyed himself so much that as he left he instructed them to meet him in Leicester, saying ‘I’ll give you something to marry your lamb.’ Given his fearsome reputation only fourteen men dared go but, being in an uncharacteristically generous mood, John gave each man who did a ewe, a wether (a castrated ram) and a pie…

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Commemoration the Great Fire in Thessaloniki 1917 – Victoria Hislop

Posted on: 24/07/2017 with tags: 1917, Great Fire of Thessaloniki, The Thread, Thessalonkik, Victoria Hislop, 20th Century

The first historical event I remember learning about at school was this: It had been a very hot summer, with no rain for weeks.  A fire broke out in small shop, and within hours a huge area of the city had been destroyed: 13,000 homes, 87 churches and a huge cathedral.  Soldiers blew up buildings to make firebreaks but only when the strong winds died down, could the fire be contained.  It smouldered for days. This catastrophe caused huge economic problems and homelessness.  And there were plenty…

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