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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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9 surprising facts you never knew about the Tudors

Posted on: 10/03/2017 with tags: English History, henry viii, history, Tudor

Henry VIII kept his dead brother Arthur’s clothes in his private wardrobe, right up until his own death. Henry VIII suffered from such severe constipation that his doctors regularly administered enemas, which were made from pig’s bladders. During her nine-day reign, 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey wore high heels in an attempt to appear more ‘queenly’. Henry VIII enjoyed some unusual foods at his feasts. Kitchen accounts include swan, peacock, porpoise and even dolphin. Henry VIII was a fan of footba…

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Anthony Riches on why we’re all fascinated by Ancient Rome

Posted on: 07/03/2017 with tags: Anthony Riches, author blog, history, Rome, Roman

Rome is that rare thing from a writing perspective – an apparent sure-fire winner when it comes to making books sell. There are others – the Tudors stand out given recent successes – but Rome just seems to keep on giving. For whatever reason – TV series, gladiators, Gladiator (see what I did there?) we seem to be collectively hooked on Rome, and yet, with a burgeoning population of writers ploughing this fertile soil, we mostly seem to be stuck in the ‘sweet spot’ in historical terms, of the per…

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Using Real Historical Characters in Fiction – S.G MacLean

Posted on: 14/11/2016 with tags: British History, civil war, cromwell, Damien Seeker, english civil war, English History, historical fiction, historical novel, history, oliver cromwell, S.G MacLean, The Black Friar, The Commonwealth, The Seeker

I am often asked about the extent to which I use real historical characters in my fiction. Because I write historical crime, I don’t feel I can use real characters as the victims or perpetrators of crimes that never actually happened, so I tend to just have them as subsidiary characters, and will occasionally throw suspicion on them. However, my most firm rule is not to show real historical characters in a bad light unless the portrayal is supported by historical record. I always bear in mind th…

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