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Karen Maitland introduces THE PLAGUE CHARMER

Posted on: 03/10/2016 with tags: historical fiction, historical novel, karen maitland, Medieval, medieval england, medieval history, plague, Medieval

My new novel is set in 1361 when the Black Death swept across England for the second time. When it first struck in 1348, the plague had seemed like the end of the world, but when it returned it just thirteen years later it was with a far more cruel and devastating twist. It is strange how ideas come together to create a novel. I was watching the news about Ebola when the reporter turned to the camera and asked a simple, but chilling, question – what would you do to save the lives of those you lo…

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‘What Hastings had heralded, the Harrying confirmed. The Normans were here to stay’ James Aitcheson on The Harrowing

Posted on: 07/07/2016 with tags: Battle of Hastings, English History, historical fiction, historical novel, history, James Aitcheson, Medieval, medieval history, Norman Conquest, The Harrying of the North, The Middle Ages, Medieval, Norman

This year marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, one of the best known events in British history. On 14 October 1066, English and Norman armies clashed at the site now occupied by Battle Abbey in East Sussex, in a fierce struggle for the English crown that ended in the death of the incumbent king, Harold Godwineson, and in victory for the invader, William of Normandy. Most people today, if asked what was the most significant event of the Norman Conquest, would probably name Hasti…

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Adele Parks reveals the real-life inspiration behind her novel If You Go Away

Posted on: 19/11/2015 with tags: adele parks, author, first world war, historical novel, if you go away, inspiration, novelist

People are always interested in knowing where novelists get their ideas; I think the most honest answer is everywhere and anywhere. When I started to write If You Go Away, I had a very clear idea as to who my heroine Vivian was (a strong-willed, sexually curious yet naïve debutante, who was basically born before her time and going to get into trouble for it); however, initially I was less certain about my hero Howard. I had quickly realised that writing a conscientious objector was layered and c…

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The story of a truly fateful Frankfurt fair

Posted on: 12/10/2015 with tags: alix christie, books, frankfurt, frankfurt book fair, gutenberg, gutenberg bible, historical fiction, historical novel, printing, printing press

Alix Christie explains for us why publishers owe a special debt to Gutenberg’s apprentice – the title of her dazzling debut novel.On an October day in 1454, a book appeared in Frankfurt that amazed and terrified the merchants and the priests who first laid eyes upon it. Publishers from around the world are again making their pilgrimage to this German city, showplace of kings and kaisers, and the spot where their industry was founded five hundred and sixty-one years ago. Few, though, will k…

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