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Christmas in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson

Posted on: 13/12/2013 with tags: antonia hodgson, Christmas Traditions, historical novel, John Grano, The Devil in the Marshalsea

There are some cheerless places to spend Christmas. I would say that an eighteenth-century debtors’ prison would be near the top of that list – but for one prisoner at least the truth was a little more complicated than that.  While researching my debut novel – The Devil in the Marshalsea (March 2014) – I drew a lot of fascinating details from a unique prison diary*. It was written by a debtor called John Grano from the day of his arrest in May 1728 to his release in September 1729, which he cele…

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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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Sublime early praise for Rebecca Mascull’s debut novel THE VISITORS

Posted on: 09/12/2013 with tags: Boer War, children, debut novel, Edinburgh Festival, historical fiction, historical novel, Kent, praise, Rebecca Mascull, South Africa, The Visitors, Victorian England

We are so excited about publication of The Visitors, Rebecca Mascull’s brilliant debut novel, in January 2014, and it appears we’re not the only ones … Karen Howlett, of Cornflower Books, chose it as her book of the day. You can read her early thoughts here. There are some wonderful early reviews from readers on GoodReads here. And Stacey of Pretty Books sums up the novel thus: ‘THE VISITORSis about a deafblind girl, set in late Victorian England, but it also seems to be…

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SNIP, CLIP, PASS – by Aly Monroe

Posted on: 11/11/2013 with tags: aly monroe, American history, author post, Black Bear, blog, Cold War, historical fiction, historical novel, Hitler, nazi germany, Operation Paperclip, Peter Cotton, President Truman, scientist, war criminal, war trials, Wernher von Braun, world war II

At the end of WW2, the US government began an Operation called ‘Overcast’. At first its aim was simply to ‘interview’ a number of German scientists. Within a very short time the Operation was re-named. It became ‘Operation Paperclip’ – one of the very few with a name that described what the Operation actually did. The Operation Paperclip team at Fort Bliss. When the trials of Nazi war criminals began, President Harry S Truman assured the American people that his government would have nothing to…

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