Book Review – Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain

Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain is set in a graveyard in the west of Ireland in the early 1940s and is a continuing dialogue between those buried there. These are not spirits waiting to be translated elsewhere but rather the coffin-bound corpses of the dead. They have brought with them into … Continue reading Book Review – Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain

My Reading – November 2018

Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain. Translated by by Liam Mac Con Iomaire and Tim Robinson I wonder am I buried in the Pound Plot or the Fifteen-Shilling Plot? Or did the devil possess them to dump me in the Half-Guinea Plot, after all my warnings? The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald It … Continue reading My Reading – November 2018

Book Review – The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St John

The Lady of the Tower imagines the life of Lucy St John, a descendant of Margaret Beauchamp (maternal grandmother of Henry VII), from 1603 as she emerges from girlhood to 1630 when she was wife of the Keeper of the Tower of London. With the death of Lucy’s mother five years earlier, the family has been … Continue reading Book Review – The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St John

An Interview with the Author!

This is my first 'real' interview - Richard Lowe interviews me about Forsaking All Other and writing in general. It is part of his Author Talk series where he interviews a range of authors about their books and their approaches to writing. Richard's website Fiction Master Class also contains a wealth of material for people … Continue reading An Interview with the Author!

My Reading – October 2018

The Watchers. A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I by Stephen Alford The Spanish ambassador came to St. James's Palace in Westminster on 9 November 1558, a Wednesday, in time for dinner. The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St John Her slap shocked me, for until now she dared not strike where … Continue reading My Reading – October 2018

Some Family History

I have ancestors from Ireland, England, Scotland and Canada, most of whom had arrived in Australia by the 1850s, with only a couple of Jenny/Johnny-come-latelys in the late 1860s. I have been obsessively researching them for ten years now after inheriting my parents' papers in the early 2000s. My father attempted to research his forbears … Continue reading Some Family History

‘It is an action like a stratagem in war where man can err but once’ – Choosing a spouse in 16th century England

During the 16th century, as in the centuries both before and after, marriage was a state that most aspired to - it gave both men and women status not only as full adults but, in the case of men, that of householder. Without marriage, women had few opportunities to independently support themselves. Except for those … Continue reading ‘It is an action like a stratagem in war where man can err but once’ – Choosing a spouse in 16th century England

My Reading – September 2018

The Beaufort Bride by Judith Arnopp It is a wild night. Outside the trees are blackened by rain. Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant Dawn is a pale bruise rising in the night sky when, from inside the palace, a window is flung open and a face appears, its features distorted by the firelight thrown … Continue reading My Reading – September 2018

Book Review – The Beaufort Bride by Judith Arnopp

Lady Margaret Beaufort, an heiress of the house of Lancaster, was the mother of Henry VII, the first Tudor king of England. She is now generally seen in the popular imagination as an austere scheming woman, politically ruthless and a religious fanatic. Margaret was the daughter and sole heiress of John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset. … Continue reading Book Review – The Beaufort Bride by Judith Arnopp