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The Best Worst Christmas Gift in History by Lois Leveen

Posted on: 19/12/2013 with tags: christmas, history, lois leveen, slavery, the secrets of mary bowser

What if the best Christmas gift you ever got was also the worst thing that had ever happened to you? Historical fiction seems as if it’s only about BIG things.  War.  Politics.  Epidemics.  But what draws me into a story—as a reader and as a writer—are the emotional experiences of individuals.  Before I began writing The Secrets of Mary Bowser, a novel based on the true story of a former slave who became a Union spy during the American Civil War, I thought the Civil War was boring.  Growin…

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Christmas with the Camerons by Andrew Williams

Posted on: 18/12/2013 with tags: Andrew Williams, christmas, trenches

Hard ground, hard rations, Hard to imagine now, perhaps, that after so much suffering the soldiers of World War 1 could find c.mfort and hope and faith in the celebration of Christmas. The famous Christmas story of the trenches is of the unofficial truce kept by both sides in the first year of the war. Barbed wire was hung with decorations, carols sung, and British and German soldiers met to exchange gifts of food, spirits and tobacco.  German and British soldiers in no-man’s-land 26th December…

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My First Christmas in Spain by C.W. Gortner

Posted on: 12/12/2013 with tags: christmas, CW Gortner, feliz navidad, Franco, history, spain

Many of my readers know that I am half-Spanish by birth, raised in southern Spain. When my family first moved to Spain from the United States, I was a six-year old child and Christmas was, as for so many children, one of my favorite times of the year. However, I had come from the US, where Christmas involved decorating a tree in lights and glittery balls, with Santa Claus and his reindeer-drawn sleigh, and leaving out a plate of cookies and glass of milk on Christmas Eve. The opening of gifts on…

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The Plum Duffs by Aly Monroe

Posted on: 11/12/2013 with tags: aly monroe, christmas, christmas truce, world war II

I write novels that are historical but just within long-lived memory. Many of my sources have spoken to me of their experiences; it helps me particularly with ‘the atmosphere’ of World War2 and its aftermath. These vary, of course, from the personal – I remember my aunt talking of her learning to draw seams on her bare legs to produce make-believe stockings when no real stockings were available – to larger matters, like bombs and ‘picking up bits of an old lady’ in Alnmouth. One of my sources ha…

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