Latest from the H for History blog

Gunpowder, treason and plot by Tracy Borman

Posted on: 15/06/2018 with tags: English History, gunpowder plot, historical fiction, historical novel, james i, tower of london, tracy borman, witchcraft, Stuart, Tudor

Tracy Borman reveals the long process behind her move into historical fiction… The publication of my debut novel, The King’s Witch, this June marks the realisation of a long-cherished ambition.  I read historical fiction all the time and have often dreamed of penning a novel myself, then a chance meeting at Harrogate History Festival a few years ago made that a reality.  Hodder’s Nick Sayers, one of the best fiction editors in the business, happened to be there with another author and we got c…

read more…

Anna of Kleve vs. Anne of Cleeves by Alison Weir

Posted on: 14/06/2018 with tags: alison weir, Anna of Kleve, Anne of Cleves, henry viii, Six Tudor Queens, Tudor

Why am I calling my next novel in the Six Tudor Queens series Anna of Kleve? Why not Anne of Cleves, as its subject is usually known? Firstly, I had decided at the outset that she was to be Anna, to distinguish her from Anne Boleyn and avoid confusion. For the same reason, I am using different spellings of Katherine for the three queens with that name: Katherine of Aragon, Katheryn Howard and Katharine Parr (I did suggest Kateryne Parr, as she herself spelt it, but we all felt it was too archaic…

read more…

Read an extract of Tracy Borman’s brand new novel

Posted on: 30/05/2018 with tags: debut novel, historical fiction, historical novel, the king's witch, tracy borman, Stuart, Tudor

Already a great historian, Tracy Borman proves with this thrilling debut novel that she is also a born storyteller. As she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth, Frances Gorges longs for the fields and ancient woods of her parents’ Hampshire estate, where she has learned to use the flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. Frances is happy to stay in her beloved countryside when the new King arrives from Scotland, bringing change, fear and suspicion. His court may be shockingly decaden…

read more…

Henry VIII’s Marriage to Jane Seymour by Alison Weir

Posted on: 16/05/2018 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, henry viii, Jane Seymour, Royal Weddings, Six Tudor Queens, six wives, Tudor

Just before dawn on 25 January 1533, a small group of people gathered in the King’s private chapel in Whitehall Palace for Henry VIII’s secret wedding to Anne. ‘It has been reported throughout a great part of the realm that I married her, which was plainly false,’ Cranmer protested, ‘for I myself knew not thereof a fortnight after it was done.’ The officiating priest was either Dr Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains, or George Brown, Prior of the Austin Friars in London. It is more likely to…

read more…

The World’s Smallest Dog With The Biggest Heart

Posted on: 02/05/2018

Smoky the Brave is the extraordinary, touching and true story of a heroic dog and her adoptive masters in the jungles of the Pacific War. It’s out in hardback on 31st May and available to pre-order now: https://amzn.to/2w6yD0r   Here’s  a piece from Damien about what drew him to telling Smoky’s story…   Smoky’s story is a fascinating and gripping one, as much because the tiny little hero of a dog was such an enigma right until after the war had ended. As Churchill famously once said,…

read more…

Ladies in Waiting – Alison Weir

Posted on: 01/05/2018 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, henry viii, Jane Seymour, katherine of aragon, Ladies in Waiting, Six Queens, six wives, Tudor

The wives of Henry VIII were served by a hierarchy of female attendants, mostly of noble and gentle birth. These were the women who resided with her in her private apartments – a chaste female enclave within the King’s ‘house of magnificence’. The Queen’s lodgings normally consisted of a presence chamber (throne room) for audiences and entertaining; and a privy chamber, which, like the King’s, might comprise bedchambers, closets, a privy, a privy wardrobe and sometimes a privy kitchen, where the…

read more…

Paul Fraser Collard: Going West

Posted on: 20/03/2018

It was always my idea that each Jack Lark novel would take place in new surroundings. This sets me a challenge and it is never easy to make the right choice of destination. However, I’ve been nurturing the idea that one day I would take Jack to America and to the American Civil War for a long time. It is a war that has always fascinated me, even though I initially knew only a little of the battles and the campaigns that were fought. But there was something in the bitter struggle between compatri…

read more…

Letters From The Suitcase – What Mary Did Next

Posted on: 13/03/2018 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…

read more…

True or False? Jane Seymour Quiz

Posted on: 07/03/2018 with tags: alison weir, Edward VI, henry viii, Jane Seymour, Quiz, Six Tudor Queens, True or False, Tudor

For publication of JANE SEYMOUR: THE HAUNTED QUEEN, Alison Weir has created this special True or False Quiz Jane Seymour True or False Quiz 1. Jane Seymour was a maid-of-honour to both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.TrueFalse2. Jane was betrothed for a time to William Dormer, the son of Sir Robert Dormer.TrueFalse3. Henry VIII married Jane at her family home, Wulfhall, in Wiltshire.TrueFalse4. They were married on the day after Anne Boleyn's execution.TrueFalse5. Although the Dissoluti…

read more…

A few words from Damien Lewis on his new book, Operation Relentless

Posted on: 01/03/2018

Damien Lewis gives us an insight into his new book, Operation Man Hunt, publishing today.   In 2008 the world’s foremost arms-dealer to rebel and terrorist groups was sentenced in a US court to 25 years without parole. For decades fugitive Russian Viktor Bout – better known as the Merchant of Death / Lord of War – had been hunted by an alphabet soup of agencies. Why? Bout was trading arms for gems and drugs, fuelling the global nexus of narco-terrorism. But more worryingly, Bout – former Soviet…

read more…