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The Plum Duffs by Aly Monroe

Posted on: 11/12/2013 with tags: aly monroe, christmas, christmas truce, world war II

I write novels that are historical but just within long-lived memory. Many of my sources have spoken to me of their experiences; it helps me particularly with ‘the atmosphere’ of World War2 and its aftermath. These vary, of course, from the personal – I remember my aunt talking of her learning to draw seams on her bare legs to produce make-believe stockings when no real stockings were available – to larger matters, like bombs and ‘picking up bits of an old lady’ in Alnmouth. One of my sources ha…

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A Dickensian Christmas? – by Marina Fiorato

Posted on: 10/12/2013 with tags: charles dickens, christmas, christmas carol, Christmas Traditions, dickens, history, Marina Fiorato

If you walk down the London street where I live, it’s quite easy to imagine yourself back in time. In the winter dusk, if the cars stop for a moment and there’s no C11 bus roaring at your back, you could fancy yourself in Victorian London. The tall redbrick mansions are straight from the period in which the notion of Christmas as we know it today was first born. The dates carved above the architraves whisk me back in time, like the date dial in the Tardis. 1887, reads the number on my mansion bl…

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Saturnalia by Lindsey Davis

Posted on: 09/12/2013 with tags: author, christmas, historical fiction, historical novel, Lindsey Davis, saturnalia

Thomas Couture, Romans during the Decadence (1847) Sometimes I wonder if the Romans were ever paranoid, thinking in despair, ‘Oh no,  I’ve only got one Saturnalia present’, ‘I forgot to order the hazelnuts’, ‘I didn’t tip the wine merchant enough’, ‘what in Hades can I give the brother-in-law who is so funny about choosing his own clothes’,  ‘Help! I will never get through this!’ Of course they didn’t invent the Christian religious festival, but they didn’t need Gustav Holst to tell them their a…

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