Latest from the H for History blog

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Tuesday Tidbits from Karen Maitland

Posted on: 27/02/2018 with tags: karen maitland, Medieval facts, The Plague Charmer, Tuesday Tidbits, Medieval, Middle Ages

First Catch your crocodile Products from the Egyptian cocodryllus or crocodile were highly prized in the medieval markets of the Middle East and Europe. Its dung was made into an unguent which was said to make aged and wrinkled prostitutes appear firm-bodied and youthful, until it ran off as they sweated from their labours. It was also said to fade freckles. And the teeth were believed to be an aphrodisiac, but only if extracted from the living beast.   The beggars are coming to town’ There…

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One of the biggest historical fiction series in the world launches in the UK.

Posted on: 23/02/2018

The Legends of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong is one of the biggest selling historical fiction series in the world. Translated from the Chinese by Anna Holmwood, the series is now being launched in the UK. A Hero Born: Legends of the Condor Heroes Volume I is set in 13th century China, as the Jin and the Song empires vie for dominance, and the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan mass on their northern frontier. Its heroes and antagonists are among the best-known and best-loved characters in Chinese lit…

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1066: What If…? – David Churchill

Posted on: 19/02/2018 with tags: 1066, conqueror, david churchill, leoprads of normandy, william of normandy, william the conqueror, Medieval

In a poll of more than two thousand people taken in January 2016, to mark the 950th anniversary of the Norman Conquest, 1066 was named as the most memorable date in British history. England had already been a coherent kingdom for more than a century before the Battle of Hastings. Yet 1066 is the point at which we still think of the country, as we know it, being born. But what if the English had beaten the Normans and thus not been conquered at all? The Battle of Hastings was a desperately hard-f…

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Is this really Anne Boleyn – Alison Weir

Posted on: 13/02/2018 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, henry viii, Holbein, Six TudorQueens, Wenceslaus Hollar, Tudor

This engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar, dated 1649 (above right), is not – as has long been accepted – of the unlabelled British Museum drawing by Holbein (above, left), which is popularly identified as Anne Boleyn, and has been the subject of much academic debate. But, as I was stating on Facebook that the drawing was probably not Anne, I noticed that the engraving is clearly of a different portrait, and Hollar states beneath that Holbein drew it. No such Holbein is known. The discrepancies are ob…

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My Freaky Valentine – Romance the Victorian Way

Posted on: 12/02/2018 with tags: historical fiction, historical novel, 19th Century, Victorian

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Victorians invented Christmas. Well; one Victorian in particular, by the name of Charles Dickens. But where did they stand on the next red letter day on the calendar, the one that pops up after boozeless, carbless, joyless January, to remind us that our hearts still beat warmly under all those jumpers? Valentine’s Day, originally the feast day of a Roman martyr, began to gain traction way before Victorian times. It became associated with courtly lo…

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