The sulphurous stench of gun smoke obscures our view of Waterloo, even two hundred years after the battle. Over this past bicentenary year, the clamour of conflict continues to sometimes deafen us. But that fog of war and the screams of injured outrage are now generally only the result of debate that still ebbs and flows around this turning point … [Read more...] about Waterloo – 200 Years of Waterloo Historical Fiction
Favourite Reads – A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
I’d read A Place of Greater Safety a couple of years after it was first published in 1992 and, at that time, I’d never heard of Hilary Mantel. Seems strange now, but that’s the way it was! In fact, it was recommended to me as a political novel, rather than a work of historical fiction and, of course, the book fits neatly into both genres. I … [Read more...] about Favourite Reads – A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
Favourite Reads – The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black
It was going to be a long summer, one of those that burn your eyeballs with the blast of lipstick colour from all those new bestsellers that Goldie Graham just finished stacking like sliced salami along his shelves. I needed a fix. Something new. And I needed it bad. Something to get me through weeks of baking sun and sand, only an occasional … [Read more...] about Favourite Reads – The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black
Favourite Reads – An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
This is the best book I’ve read in the past year by a long head. It’s very rare for me to say “I couldn’t put this down” though, in this case, I literally finished it in two long sittings. Opening: ‘Major Picquart to see the Minister of War...’ The sentry on the rue Saint-Dominique steps out of his box to open the gate and I run through a … [Read more...] about Favourite Reads – An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Sixth Century Britain – King Arthur, really?
David Ebsworth's fifth novel set in Sixth Century Britain. A growing number of websites lay out for us a superficially impressive chronology of events and genealogies for the history of post-Roman Britain. But I will ask readers to disregard them. In truth, there are so few verifiable ‘facts’ for the two hundred years from 400 AD onwards that, … [Read more...] about Sixth Century Britain – King Arthur, really?