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Plymouth: Maritime Icon by Julian Stockwin

Posted on: 16/10/2019 Age of Sail, British History, English History

I have the great good fortune to live not far from Plymouth, Devon, that lovely county in southwest England. Given that I write Age of Sail fiction and have a long-held interest in all things to do with Neptune’s Realm, I probably couldn’t have chosen a better location! My latest book To The Eastern Seas opens with a crowd of onlookers standing on Plymouth Hoe, a large cliff-top south-facing grassy open space. They are peering out to sea awaiting the arrival of the ships returning from what was…

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Living in the Past by Robyn Young

Posted on: 06/08/2018 with tags: author blog, court of wolves, historical fiction, historical novel, new world rising, robyn young, European, Renaissance, World History

It’s a summer’s morning and I’m standing in a field with a gun in my hands – a flintlock musket from the English Civil War, long and heavy, the stock hunched into my shoulder, barrel aimed down the field. I struggle to pull back the hammer, needing two fingers to do so.  It’s stiff and I’m nervous.  The pan is loaded with gunpowder and the flint is now poised above it.  I pull the trigger.  The flint snaps down, striking the powder to life with a flash, sending a rush of fire and force down the…

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The Venice that inspired CITY OF MASKS

Posted on: 07/08/2017 with tags: author blog, historical fiction, medieval history, s d sykes, Venice, European, Renaissance

Author SD Sykes introduces the Venice that has inspired her latest novel, City of Masks. The approach from the sea.  My first visit to Venice was in 1982, and we had crossed the modern road bridge by car and then parked near the railway station. I’m not criticizing this way of approaching Venice, except that it slightly misses the point of this place. In my opinion, Venice is best approached from the water, so that you can really appreciate her as a city of the Sea. The first time I had the oppo…

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9 surprising facts you never knew about the Tudors

Posted on: 10/03/2017 with tags: English History, henry viii, history, Tudor

Henry VIII kept his dead brother Arthur’s clothes in his private wardrobe, right up until his own death. Henry VIII suffered from such severe constipation that his doctors regularly administered enemas, which were made from pig’s bladders. During her nine-day reign, 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey wore high heels in an attempt to appear more ‘queenly’. Henry VIII enjoyed some unusual foods at his feasts. Kitchen accounts include swan, peacock, porpoise and even dolphin. Henry VIII was a fan of footba…

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