Blog > Period: modern

The Modern period covers our most recent history and spans the industrial revolution, the reign of Queen Victoria and on through the two world wars.

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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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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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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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An extract from Louise Brown’s The Himalayan Summer

Posted on: 13/03/2017 with tags: Culcutta, Eden Garden, extract, Great Eastern Hotel, Himalayan Summer, louise brown, Modern

Ellie had heard Francis’s story a dozen times during the previous month, and the tale changed slightly each time he told it. She knew some of it was true because she’d been there to witness it. Three months ago, at the start of the hot season, they had been in Calcutta, where Francis was busy ordering guns and having hunting clothes made. Then he went to the Sundarbans to bag a Royal Bengal tiger or two, and left Ellie and the twins in a suite in the Great Eastern Hotel, with only Nanny Barker f…

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