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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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Gunpowder, treason and plot by Tracy Borman

Posted on: 15/06/2018 with tags: English History, gunpowder plot, historical fiction, historical novel, james i, tower of london, tracy borman, witchcraft, Stuart, Tudor

Tracy Borman reveals the long process behind her move into historical fiction… The publication of my debut novel, The King’s Witch, this June marks the realisation of a long-cherished ambition.  I read historical fiction all the time and have often dreamed of penning a novel myself, then a chance meeting at Harrogate History Festival a few years ago made that a reality.  Hodder’s Nick Sayers, one of the best fiction editors in the business, happened to be there with another author and we got c…

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Why I Admire Admiral Saumarez

Posted on: 01/11/2017 with tags: author blog, English History, fiction, historical fiction, Julian Stockwin, Thomas Kydd, 19th Century, Napoleonic Wars

Author Julian Stockwin on a unsung hero of the Napoleonic naval war. In the course of writing the Kydd series I’ve researched many real-life naval personages,  a number of whom I’ve included in the books, part of the rich naval heritage that is the backdrop to those fascinating times. Julian Stockwin outside HMS Victory, Saumarez’s flagship during the Baltic campaign. Of course Horatio Nelson has appeared in several titles in the series, along with ‘Black Dick’ Howe, Cuthbert Collingwood, Home R…

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