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Sandringham House, where the Royal Family celebrate Christmas: an insider’s view from 1956

Posted on: 23/11/2018 with tags: hugo vickers, queen mary, quest for queen mary, royal christmas, Royal family, sandringham, 20th Century, British History, English History, Royal Family

When James Pope-Hennessy began his work on Queen Mary’s official biography in 1956, it opened the door to meetings with royalty, court members and retainers around Europe. The series of candid observations, secrets and indiscretions contained in his notes were to be kept private for 50 years. Now published in full for the first time and edited by the highly admired royal biographer Hugo Vickers, The Quest for Queen Mary is a riveting, often hilarious portrait of the eccentric aristocracy of a by…

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H.B. Lyle: Fiction to fact to fiction – finding nuggets in the archive

Posted on: 21/08/2018 with tags: author blog, crime fiction, espionage, historical crime, historical fiction, Sherlock Holmes, 20th Century, British History, English History, European

It’s perhaps the most dreaded question in the author Q&A: where do you get your ideas from? Setting aside Arthur Miller’s famous response (‘I wish I knew, I’d go there more often’) this is perhaps an easier question for the historical novelist to answer than those working in other genres. For inspiration, we only have to look into the history books. And this is so often the way of things – authors find out versions of what happened then transmute and change and reimagine then in the form of…

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Using Real Historical Characters in Fiction – S.G MacLean

Posted on: 14/11/2016 with tags: British History, civil war, cromwell, Damien Seeker, english civil war, English History, historical fiction, historical novel, history, oliver cromwell, S.G MacLean, The Black Friar, The Commonwealth, The Seeker

I am often asked about the extent to which I use real historical characters in my fiction. Because I write historical crime, I don’t feel I can use real characters as the victims or perpetrators of crimes that never actually happened, so I tend to just have them as subsidiary characters, and will occasionally throw suspicion on them. However, my most firm rule is not to show real historical characters in a bad light unless the portrayal is supported by historical record. I always bear in mind th…

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A guest blog from author Julian Stockwin

Posted on: 03/04/2014 with tags: Britain, British History, eBooks, historical fiction, history, Julian Stockwin, Napoleon, Napoleonic wars, seafaring, Thomas Kydd

I’m really delighted that Hodder is launching the first of four special 3-ebook bundles of the Kydd series today. Looking back over the past thirteen years that I have been writing these books one of the aspects that gives me special pleasure is the bond that has developed between my two main characters, Thomas Kydd and Nicholas Renzi. Kydd is a young wigmaker having a quiet ale with his friends in the local pub in Guildford when his life is about to change forever. He is taken by the pres…

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