Latest from the H for History blog

History’s Forgotten Victims by Gill Paul

Posted on: 10/10/2018 with tags: Gill Paul, romanovs, the lost daughter, 20th Century

History is scattered with events in which the deaths of ‘ordinary people’ are overshadowed because someone famous was involved. In an extreme example, the first headlines in US newspapers after the Titanic sank in 1912 focused on the death of millionaire John Jacob Astor and only mentioned as an aside that 1,500 other people had perished. Jacqueline Kennedy was always careful to remember police officer J.D. Tippit, who was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald when he pulled over his car 45 minut…

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Reading Guide for Katherine Clements’ THE COFFIN PATH

Posted on: 09/10/2018 with tags: katherine clements, Reading Guide, The Coffin Path

**Longlisted for the HWA Gold Crown** An eerie and compelling ghost story set on the dark wilds of the Yorkshire moors. For fans of The Witchfinder’s Sister and The Silent Companions, this gothic tale will weave its way into your imagination and chill you to the bone. ‘Spine-tingling… the scariest ghost story I have read in a long time’ Barbara Erskine ‘A wonderful, macabre evocation of a lost way of life’ The Times ‘Like something from Emily Bronte’s nightmares’ Andrew Taylor, author of The A…

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How the SAS fuelled their most-daring behind-the-lines WWII raid with amphetamines by Damien Lewis

Posted on: 08/10/2018

The men of the Special Air Service (SAS) have a reputation for being able to endure anything, but every human body has its limits, a point where being able to continue when the “tank is empty” seems impossible. In March 1945, Major Roy Farran, commander of a crack unit of SAS warriors and rag tag Italian partisans, found himself and his men in that very position … Fresh from a daring assault on the German 14 Army Headquarters, in Northern Italy – where they’d given the Nazi’s a real bloody nose…

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Alev Scott, author of Ottoman Odyssey, on the hidden synagogues of the Ottoman Empire

Posted on: 04/10/2018

Today marks the publication of Alev Scott’s Ottoman Odyssey: travels through a lost empire. From the cafes of Beirut to the refugee camps of Lesbos, Alev searches for answers about exile, diaspora and collective memory in this fascinating region. Here she talks about the hidden synagogues attended by crypto-Jews who worshipped for hundreds of years in the empire under the guise of Islam…   Like Greece, Spain and Portugal are also trying to right previous wrongs – in their case, from half a…

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“He was the most wanted man in the Roman Empire” Ilka Tampke on the man who inspired her novel Songwoman

Posted on: 02/10/2018 with tags: Roman Britain

Songwoman is the second instalment in my fictional exploration of Iron-Age Britain. It continues the story told in Skin, but it also stands as its own autonomous beast, more historical, more militaristic, perhaps a little darker. And so it should be, as it narrates the brutalisation and destruction of something very precious. Songwoman is set in the wild and mythological landscapes of ancient Wales. It enters history at a decisive moment in the Roman colonisation of the indigenous British tribes…

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Take our quiz for David Churchill’s CONQUEROR

Posted on: 01/10/2018 with tags: conqueror, david churchill, leopards of normandy, Quiz, william the conqueror, Norman

CONQUEROR is the epic conclusion of the LEOPARDS OF NORMANDY trilogy from David Churchill, co-author of War Cry (Wilbur Smith). Here is the real-life game of thrones that lead to the defining moment of English history: 1066, Hastings and the victory of the Conqueror. To celebrate publication find out how much you know about this crucial time of English history? Take our quiz to find out! Conqueror quiz Quiz for David Churchill’s CONQUEROR 1. Which of these is NOT a name we associate with Duke Wi…

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Anthony Riches awards reader with a piece of genuine roman history!

Posted on: 21/09/2018 with tags: Anthony Riches, Roman

Anthony Riches, author of the historical fiction series The Centurions and Empire has awarded one eagle-eyed reader a piece of genuine roman history – a solid gold coin Vespasian Aureus coin! Riches says: ‘My original motivation for buying the coin was primarily one of avarice. I thought to put it on display (too small) or wear it as a pendant (not allowed, my numismatist told me as my chest hair would – genuinely – rub off the soft gold detail!) or perhaps even in a ring (except that’s really n…

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How the Massachusetts Coast Inspired the Setting for Elizabeth Lowry’s Dark Water

Posted on: 17/09/2018

Dark Water grew out of a love of the Massachusetts coast, and of Poe and Melville, and of their maverick nineteenth-century American sensibility. Those quest tales of land and sea, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and Moby-Dick, are archetypal stories of escape from home and family, of a rite of passage; each, in its own way, charting the contradictions and tensions of American society at a time of great change. I wanted to write a story which shared not just the landscape (and seascapes) of t…

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Reading Guide for Karen Maitland’s A GATHERING OF GHOSTS

Posted on: 07/09/2018 with tags: A Gathering of Ghosts, Discussion Guide, karen maitland, reading groups, Reading Guide, Medieval, Middle Ages

We think that Karen Maitland’s A GATHERING OF GHOSTS would be a great choice for reading groups – particularly those who like reading historical fiction. If you do choose it here are some questions to help your discussions! ‘You can stamp and frown as much as you please, Mistress, but this is a battle I am going to win.’ Prioress Johanne rules the priory with a firm hand, but her authority is challenged with the arrival of Knight Brother Nicholas. To what extent is this book about power? The wel…

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The facts behind the e-short, The Unhappiest Lady in Christendom – Alison Weir

Posted on: 06/09/2018 with tags: alison weir, henry viii, Jane Seymour, Six Tudor Queens, The Unhappiest Lady In Christendom, Tudor

‘Lord! What lamentation shortly after was made for the death of Queen Jane, and of none in this realm was it more heavily taken than of the King’s Majesty himself.’ Jane Seymour’s passing at 2am on 24 October 1537 ‘was as heavy to the King as ever was heard tell of. Directly she expired, he withdrew himself, as not to be spoken to by anyone.’ Henry VIII could not bear anything to do with death. That morning his horror of remaining in the same house as Jane’s corpse got the better of him, and he…

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