Book Review – This is Happiness by Niall Williams

This is Happiness begins with the sky clearing and the rain stopping just after 3 o’clock on the Wednesday afternoon of Holy Week in 1958 while the people of Faha in county Clare are at Church. This is a rare occurrence in Faha as rain 'was a condition of living'. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe, known as … Continue reading Book Review – This is Happiness by Niall Williams

My Reading – August 2020

The Heretic Wind: The Life of Mary Tudor, Queen of England by Judith Arnopp I hate Autumn; I always have. Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson Moominmamma was sitting on the front steps in the sun, rigging a model bark schooner. This Is Happiness by Neill Williams Nobody in Faha could remember when it started.

Drake – Tudor Corsair by Tony Riches

Today, I'm delighted to be sharing an excerpt from Tony Riches' new book Drake - Tudor Corsair as part of his blog tour with the Coffee Pot Book Club. This is the first book in his new Elizabethan Series. Excerpt Gorhambury Manor, home of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Sir Nicholas Bacon, May 1577 … Continue reading Drake – Tudor Corsair by Tony Riches

Early Modern Women – Sabine Johnson (c1521-1597?)

There is no known portrait of Sabine Saunders.This portrait is of Jane Pemberton (1518–1602) whose life bears some similarities to Sabine's, She was the daughter of Christopher Pemberton, a Northamptonshire gentleman and married Nicholas Small, a London cloth merchant, probably in about 1540.Hans Holbein c1540 / Public domain Sabine Saunders was the daughter of Thomas … Continue reading Early Modern Women – Sabine Johnson (c1521-1597?)

In my beginning is my end? – Opening and closing lines

A little while ago I saw a quote from the American novelist Gloria Naylor - 'One should be able to return to the first sentence of a novel and find the resonances of the entire work.' Other than in consciously literary works, I wondered how often this happened so I took a few favourite books … Continue reading In my beginning is my end? – Opening and closing lines

More Meanderings in Cyberspace – June 2020

The world has changed since I last wrote of my meanderings through cyberspace. While our physical lives have been circumscribed, the wonderful world of the internet has opening up new vistas. So here are a few of the interesting places I've been over the last three months. Perhaps the machines will take over one day. … Continue reading More Meanderings in Cyberspace – June 2020