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Read the History behind The Crown

Posted on: 28/11/2019 with tags: English History, historical fiction, historical novel, history, lady anne glenconner, the crown, world war II, 20th Century, British History, Royal Family, WW2

If you are, like us, hooked by the recent third series of The Crown (definitely NOT on our third re-watch, definitely not), then you’ll also want to know more about the history behind the events portrayed in the episode. We’ve pulled together a selection of ‘further reading’ for those looking to delve deeper. Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER THE TIMES MEMOIR OF THE YEAR 2019 ‘Remarkable . . . If your jaw doesn’t drop at least three times every chapter, you’ve not be…

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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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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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