Latest from the H for History blog

Marina Fiorato’s favourite historical novels

Posted on: 06/09/2013 with tags: Anya Seton, Ellis Peters, favourite historical novels, historical classics, historical crime, historical mystery, Marina Fiorato, Umberto Eco

One of our wonderful authors, Marina Fiorato, is behind today’s post. Read on to find out what her favourite historical novels are, and which books inspired her to become a writer.  Shield of Three Lions by Pamela Kaufman This is a wonderful novel featuring – in my opinion – one of the most engaging heroines in historical literature. Alix of Wanthwaite loses her estate in the north of England and goes to petition the king for their return. The only problem is that Richard I is engaged on t…

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They Dined Upon Quince (in honour of The Great British Bake Off)

Posted on: 03/09/2013 with tags: An Appetite for Violets, baking, food, great british bake off, Martine Bailey, Georgian

Today, one of our brilliant authors, Martine Bailey, reflects on historic British cooking traditions and, of course, the national obsession that is The Great British Bake Off: ‘Each week as I sit transfixed by The Great British Bake Off I marvel at the ever wilder flavour combinations. Already we’ve seen a grapefruit cake, followed by a chicken paneer and white chocolate bread combination (now that does seem a flavour too far). Culinary fashions aren’t new: long ago, bouquets of flower flavours…

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The History of Bank Holidays

Posted on: 22/08/2013 with tags: Bank Holidays, Sir John Lubbock

As we approach the last long weekend of the year, we thought we’d do a little digging into the history of the bank holiday, and here’s what we discovered … It was the Liberal politician and banker Sir John Lubbock who introduced the Bank Holidays Act in 1871. The four designated days were: Easter Monday, Whit Monday (the first Monday in May), the first Monday in August and Boxing Day. Apparently the English people were so grateful that the days were known as St Lubbock’s Days for a time. It wasn…

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The Great British Bake Off and the history of food

Posted on: 20/08/2013 with tags: An Appetite for Violets, baking, food, great british bake off, historical recipes

We are all ridiculously excited that The Great British Bake Off starts again this evening on BBC One. As we’re approaching the end of summer (sob!) we’re all in need of a pick-me-up in the form of bakers extraordinaire Mary Berry (Bezzer, apparently!) and Paul Hollywood, the comic delight that is Mel and Sue and, of course, all the different contestants and their wonderful sweet and savoury concoctions. There are lots of keen bakers at Hodder & Stoughton (do follow our various twitter accoun…

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The Liberation of Paris

Posted on: 19/08/2013 with tags: liberation of paris, nazi germany, European, World History, WW2

The Liberation of Paris On This Day: 19th August, 1944 The Liberation of Paris began on 19th August, 1944, when members of the French Resistance led an uprising against the German garrison. It ended with the German surrender six days later. Paris had fallen to Nazi Germany on 14th June, 1940, and eight days later France signed an armistice with the Germans. Although a puppet French state was set up with its capital at Vichy, the Resistance soon sprang up to resist Nazi and Vichy rule. In 1943, t…

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Did Shakespeare have an older brother?

Posted on: 16/08/2013 with tags: christopher marlowe, Rory Clements, Shakespeare, Tudor

Here at H for History we are all big fans of William Shakespeare, and like to follow all the various conspiracy theories and renewed discussions of authorship. We are also incredibly lucky to publish exceptionally talented writers who deal with these issues in their brilliant historical novels. One of these is Rory Clements, whose award-winning historical crime series features William Shakespeare’s older brother, John, as an Elizabethan ‘Intelligencer’ who is tasked with taking down villains who…

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The Wonder of Rome blog tour 2013

Posted on: 15/08/2013 with tags: blog tour, events, Roman, Rome, wonder of rome

The Wonder of Rome – Blog Tour 15-19 August 2013 The Wonder of Rome blog tour kicks off today! For the next four days, some of the UK’s biggest names in historical fiction will be writing on their own websites or blogs about what the wonder of Rome signifies for them. Our very own author, John Henry Clay, whose brilliant debut novel The Lion and the Lamb was published in hardback on 4th July (read the first chapter here) is taking part. Make sure you head over to his website and blog to read his…

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Our love of The White Queen

Posted on: 01/08/2013 with tags: Philippa Gregory, strong women, Television, the white queen

  All of us at H for History are completely gripped by the BBC television series The White Queen, which is based on Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War series of novels, and delighted that another historical drama is proving so successful. It is a particularly lavish production (rumoured to have cost £25 million), with wonderful costumes and sets, though not even that amount of money can ensure the avoidance of certain anachronisms! What we love most, however, are the really meaty female roles…

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Historical fiction on the Booker longlist

Posted on: 31/07/2013 with tags: booker longlist, Booker Prize

Last Tuesday, 23rd July, the longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2013 was announced: Five Star Billionaire, Tash Aw (Fourth Estate) We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus) The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton (Granta)* Harvest, Jim Crace (Picador)* The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, Eve Harris (Sandstone Press) The Kills, Richard House (Picador) The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury)* Unexploded, Alison MacLeod (Hamish Hamilton)* TransAtlantic, Colum McCann (Bloomsbury)* Almost English,…

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Jane Austen will appear on £10 notes

Posted on: 31/07/2013 with tags: janes austen, pride and prejudice, Victorian

At a press conference last week, the new Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, confirmed that Jane Austen will appear on £10 notes (though not until 2017). The announcement followed a high-profile campaign earlier this year against the prospect of having no women – apart from the Queen – on British currency (Winston Churchill will replace Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note from 2016). Carney said of Austen: ‘Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest…

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