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Why I Admire Admiral Saumarez

Posted on: 01/11/2017 with tags: author blog, English History, fiction, historical fiction, Julian Stockwin, Thomas Kydd, 19th Century, Napoleonic Wars

Author Julian Stockwin on a unsung hero of the Napoleonic naval war. In the course of writing the Kydd series I’ve researched many real-life naval personages,  a number of whom I’ve included in the books, part of the rich naval heritage that is the backdrop to those fascinating times. Julian Stockwin outside HMS Victory, Saumarez’s flagship during the Baltic campaign. Of course Horatio Nelson has appeared in several titles in the series, along with ‘Black Dick’ Howe, Cuthbert Collingwood, Home R…

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Alice Morley reviews Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Posted on: 24/10/2016 with tags: Daisy Goodwin, English History, fiction, historical fiction, Victoria, Victorian

For the many fans of ITV’s Victoria series (amongst whom I count myself!) this is a must read: a novelisation of the first half of the series by its writer. (Spoiler: there’s not much Albert, sadly). All the memorable scenes between Victoria and her beloved Lord M are recreated, with the internal thoughts of the characters adding more depth to their feelings for each other. Even if you haven’t watched the TV, this is a fantastic read. Opening at the moment Victoria became queen, the novel charts…

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Antonia Hodgson on Street-Level History

Posted on: 15/08/2016 with tags: antonia hodgson, author blog, fiction, historical crime, historical fiction, Georgian

I write about the early Georgians. Someone has to. I confess I stole that punchline from Bill Bryson. But it’s true – it’s a neglected period. Hardly any-one writes fiction set in the early to mid 1700s. Is it the wigs? The Whigs? (Now that’s my kind of joke – historically accurate, and not very funny.) Historical fiction tends to draw on the great stories of wars and monarchs. Henry VIII’s life has moved beyond history to the point of myth – and like all great myths, can be told over and over w…

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Andrew Miller on the Inspiration for Pure

Posted on: 04/09/2015 with tags: andrew miller, fiction, historical fiction, literature, pure

A very special treat for you this Friday, as Andrew Miller’s new novel THE CROSSING has just been published, we thought it was high-time to revisit his historical novel (and winner of the Costa Book of the Year) Pure! Here is a short piece Andrew wrote on his inspiration for the novel: I first read about the destruction of the cemetery of Les Innocents some ten years or more ago. There were a couple of pages on it in Phillipe Aries’ book The Hour of Our Death, a history of Western funerary custo…

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