What irritates me most intensely about family history are things like Ancestry ads and programs like Who Do You Think You Are? that make it all look so quick and easy. As anyone who is serious about tracing their family’s history knows, genealogy is a long, long game. Over fifty years ago my mother started … Continue reading Family History as it is Really Done – William George Bowden alias Watson
1549. Edward VI, the eleven-year-old son of Henry VIII has been on the throne two years. The country is effectively run by the Lord Protector, Edward Somerset. The preceding decade has seen war with Scotland, inflation, unemployment, rising rents and declining wages. A sense of grievance is swelling among the common people against the imposition … Continue reading Book Review – Tombland by C.J. Sansom
In the 16th century, marriage was not a purely personal affair but rather a group effort involving acquaintances, friends or family members. When a young man or woman or, more often, their parents decided it was time to marry, the first step was to find a suitable spouse. After determining that there was no one … Continue reading The Elizabethan ‘Suter’
Set in the fictional village of Oakham, Somerset, The Western Wind starts on Shrove Tuesday 1491. This is Day 4 of the story as this novel is told backwards over four days from Shrove Tuesday to the previous Saturday. It is the first person narrative of the parish priest, John Reve, a gentle and compassionate man … Continue reading Book Review – The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey
Tombland by C J Sansom I had been in my chambers at Lincoln's Inn when the messenger came from Master Parry, asking me to attend him urgently. A Pure Clear Light by Madeleine St John 'Simon, there's a woman over there who keeps looking at us.'