Latest from the H for History blog

Read an extract from Simon Scarrow’s THE BLOOD OF ROME

Posted on: 14/11/2018 with tags: extract, Macro and Cato, simon scarrow, The Blood of Rome, Roman

Ctesiphon, capital city of the Parthian Empire, March, AD 55 The setting sun lit up the broad stretch of the Tigris river, so that it gleamed like molten gold against the pale orange of the sky. The air was still and cool, and the last clouds of the thunderstorm that had drenched the city had passed to the south, leaving the faintest odour of iron in the gathering dusk. The servants of the royal palace were scurrying about their duties as they prepared the riverside pavilion for that evening’s m…

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Damien Lewis tells the story of David “Mad Piper” Kirkpatrick in audacious SAS mission.

Posted on: 06/11/2018

David ‘Mad Piper’ Kirkpatrick recruited by SAS as audacious mission decoy: ordered to play Highland Laddie as raiders went in on war’s most daring raid Bagpipes have a long history when it comes to war, one of pipers at the head of Scottish regiments piping them to glory. When researching my new book ­SAS Italian Job – which tells the story of one of the most audacious raids of the war – I was amazed to find that legendary SAS commander Major Roy Farran had put in a special request for what he s…

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Living in the Past – Julian Stockwin

Posted on: 31/10/2018

I write the Thomas Kydd series, set in the Great Age of Fighting Sail, the period of the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (1793-1815). One of the questions I’m often asked when I give talks about my books is would I liked to have lived back then. It’s an interesting point to ponder, especially given the creature comforts we enjoy today like a bracing hot shower in a cold morning and the push-button warmth of central heating. Then there’s the wonders of the modern age such as the internet…

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Fourteen facts you didn’t know about the Queen’s corgis

Posted on: 29/10/2018

Fourteen facts about the history of corgis in the royal family. Test your knowledge and see if you already knew them… 1) Queen Victoria started the trend for keeping dogs as pets. She had more than a hundred dogs during her lifetime and 28 different breeds. 2) Queen Victoria was one of the the first people in Britain to own a dachshund – now one of the country’s most popular small breeds. 3) The first corgi to be owned by the the current Queen’s family was Dookie – bought because the seven-yea…

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The King’s War by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi

Posted on: 17/10/2018

Victory! It’s two weeks until publication day for The King’s War, by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, an incredible insight into the monarchy during the darkest days of WWII. The King’s War draws on diaries, letters and other documents left by George VI’s speech therapist, Lionel Logue, and his wife, Myrtle. It provides a fascinating portrait of two men and their respective families – the Windsors and the Logues – as they together faced up to the greatest challenge in Britain’s history. VE Day dawn…

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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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