Latest from the H for History blog

Antonia Hodgson interviews S D Sykes

Posted on: 25/09/2014 with tags: antonia hodgson, author blog, author interview, ben hur, Black Death, debut author, historical crime, historical fiction, historical novel, medieval england, plague, plague land, s d sykes, The Devil in the Marshalsea

To celebrate the publication of PLAGUE LAND, the debut historical crime novel by S D Sykes, today we are publishing an exclusive interview between her and one of our other brilliant historical novelists, Antonia Hodgson. In the interview these two writers discuss historical inspirations, what it’s like to write a debut novel, research, favourite historical novels and much more! PLAGUE LAND really captures the atmosphere of a world turned upside down. What first drew you into this world and…

read more…

Buy My Wares – The Great British Bake Off Week Eight

Posted on: 24/09/2014 with tags: An Appetite for Violets, author blog, baking, cakes, historical fiction, history, Martine Bailey, The Great British Bake Off, The Penny Heart

The fruited breads and doughnut challenges on this week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off recall the great British tradition of street food. For centuries fruited bready buns were the staple of street hawkers, crying their wares or singing early advertising jingles like the ‘Sally Lunn bun’ song of Bath: ‘No more I heed the muffin zest, The Yorkshire cake or bun,  Sweet Muse of Pastry teach me how,To make a Sally Lunn.’ Doughnuts too, have a history of being outdoor food long before Krispy…

read more…

S D Sykes interviews Antonia Hodgson

Posted on: 23/09/2014 with tags: antonia hodgson, author blog, author interview, crime fiction, debut author, debut novel, English History, georgian england, historical crime, historical fiction, historical novel, plague land, s d sykes, the black death, The Devil in the Marshalsea, the plague

We’ve written (and tweeted) a lot about how much we love the fact that all our brilliant authors get along, read each others novels, support each other at events and online. A few months ago, wonderful debut novelists Martine Bailey and Rebecca Mascull interviewed each other for our blog, and now it’s the turn of S D Sykes and Antonia Hodgson, two more talented debut historical crime novelists we are thrilled to publish at Hodder. This week sees the publication of PLAGUE LAND, S D Sy…

read more…

Eaten Cake Is Soon Forgotten – The Great British Bake Off Week Six

Posted on: 10/09/2014 with tags: An Appetite for Violets, author blog, baking, cake, historical fiction, historical novel, historical recipes, Martine Bailey, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, recipes, taffety tart, The Great British Bake Off, The Penny Heart

This week on The Great British Bake Off, Paul and Mary challenge the contestants to bake a continental cake – a Germanic Gugelhupf, fluorescent green Swedish Princess Cake, and a showstopper of Hungarian layered Dobostorta. So where are the British equivalents to these symbols of national pride? ‘Eaten cake is soon forgotten,’ says an old proverb, and so it seems in the case of British bakery. Grand Tourist, George, Lord Lyttelton,1762, summed up his patriotic fondness for cakes when  he wrote f…

read more…

THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA is a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Autumn!

Posted on: 28/08/2014 with tags: antonia hodgson, book club, crime fiction, debut novel, historical crime, historical fiction, Marshalsea Prison, reading group, Richard & Judy, Richard & Judy Book Club, The Devil in the Marshalsea, Tom Hawkins, WHSmith

The latest selection of titles for the Richard & Judy Autumn Book Club has been announced, and we’re thrilled that Antonia Hodgson’s debut novel, THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA, a gripping and compelling work of historical crime, is among them! Click here to read Richard and Judy’s reviews of the book, and to find out more.  You can also follow Antonia Hodgson on Twitter, like her Facebook page and visit her website.

read more…

Trifling with Cake and Custard – The Great British Bake Off Week Four

Posted on: 27/08/2014 with tags: An Appetite for Violets, author blog, Clandestine Cake Club, historical fiction, Martine Bailey, The Great British Bake Off, The Penny Heart, trifle

It is Desserts week on The Great British Bake Off and the contestants might do well to remember that ‘Desserts’ spells ‘Stressed’ backwards. The episode’s grand finale is Baked Alaska, a tricky temperature challenge; to bake ice cream in a crisp hot meringue… A simpler test is to bake a tiramisu cake, an Italian development of English trifle, or Zuppa Inglese as the Italians call it. Trifle is, of course, a quintessentially British dessert; the only dessert from a typical eighteenth centu…

read more…

The Battle of Britain Memorial Service – by Claire Lorrimer

Posted on: 26/08/2014 with tags: author blog, Battle of Britain, Claire Lorrimer, history, memorial, world war II

Eight weeks ago, I was asked to lay a wreath at the Battle of Britain Memorial on the cliffs above Folkestone at Capel-Le-Ferne. It was an emotional day as I had served in the WAAF – the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force – during the war. Not only had I lost two young cousins in those desperate air battles when we were on the brink  of invasion, but in 1944 the Lancaster bomber pilot I was hoping to marry when the war was over, did not return from one of the dangerous bombing raids when one in five pl…

read more…

Thomas Keneally: 50th Anniversary Reissues

Posted on: 14/08/2014 with tags: author, backlist, Bettany's Book, Booker Prize, fiction, historical fiction, historical novel, Jacko: The Great Intruder, reissues, Sceptre, Schindler's Ark, The Office of Innocence, Thomas Keneally

We are delighted to be reissuing three novels by the Booker Prize-winning author of SCHINDLER’S ARK, Thomas Keneally, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of his first novel in 1964. BETTANY’S BOOK, JACKO: THE GREAT INTRUDER and THE OFFICE OF INNOCENCE are three historical novels that tell radically different tales. Set in Australia and the Sudan, BETTANY’S BOOK is the story of two very different sisters who discover the documents of their ancestor, John Bettany. As the tale…

read more…

Have Biscuits, Will Travel – The Great British Bake Off Week Two

Posted on: 13/08/2014 with tags: An Appetite for Violets, author blog, baking, BBC, biscuits, food, historical fiction, historical novel, Martine Bailey, The Great British Bake Off, The Penny Heart

It is Biscuit Week on The Great British Bake Off, with some cracking challenges: to bake savoury biscuits, Florentines and build a 3D creation from biscuit. Biscuits originated as rock-hard military or sailors’ rations, that were ‘bis-cuit’ (twice-baked) to prevent them from mouldering. ‘As dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage,’ says Jacques in As You Like It, recalling the thankfully forgotten experience of trying to eat one of these jaw-crackers. The British Navy mass-produced shi…

read more…

Wharram Percy… The most deserted medieval village of them all.

Posted on: 23/07/2014 with tags: author blog, Black Death, debut author, debut novel, English History, historical fiction, historical novel, history, medieval england, medieval history, Medieval Period, plague, plague land, s d sykes, Wharram Percy, Yorkshire

There are over three thousand deserted medieval villages in the English landscape. Lost under fields of wheat and barley, or somewhere in the midst of ancient woodland – and yet it is Wharram Percy in the Yorkshire Wolds that is the most famous of them all. So, having been at the Harrogate crime festival last weekend, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit – though I should admit straight away that my first impressions of the place were not entirely overwhelming. Some historic sights really di…

read more…