In My Garden – Birds (Native and Otherwise)

I live near the middle of a city covering an area of nearly 10,000 km2  of suburban sprawl, asphalt roads and footpaths - in the tatty northern suburbs of Melbourne, 200 metres from Bell Street, a major traffic sewer. Yet despite the concrete, asphalt  and spindly street trees, nature still makes her presence felt. You … Continue reading In My Garden – Birds (Native and Otherwise)

Book Review – The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

The Trick to Time is a poignant story of love and loss. Mona, an Irishwoman nearing 60, lives in a coastal town in England where she makes dolls for a living that she sells in her shop and online. The dolls' bodies are of wood, beautifully carved and finished by an almost reclusive carpenter who … Continue reading Book Review – The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

Book Review – The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis

The publication in 1955 of The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis led to a campaign by Greek Orthodox clergy to have Kazantzakis excommunicated as they considered the work blasphemous. It was published in English in 1960, the same year that the book was placed on the Catholic Church’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum (dismantled in 1966 following … Continue reading Book Review – The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis

Early Modern Children

We are fortunate that a number of portraits survive of children from the upper levels of society in the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean period. These give us a glimpse of childhood in that period and hint at the ways childhood, the raising of children, and even life itself differ from today. Infants were swaddled … Continue reading Early Modern Children

My Reading – July 2018

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan They'd driven all the way to Mr Styles's house before Anna realized that her father was nervous. The Women in Black by Madeleine St John At the end of a hot November day Miss Baines and Mrs Williams of the Ladies' Frocks Department at Goode's were complaining to each other … Continue reading My Reading – July 2018

Book Review – Traitor’s Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Traitor’s Knot begins in 1645 with the Battle of Naseby where the New Model Army commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell all but destroyed the Royalist army. James Hart, a Royalist captain, despite the hardening influence of three years at war, is shocked to his core when, in his escape from pursuing Roundheads, … Continue reading Book Review – Traitor’s Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Book Review – The Women in Black by Madeleine St John

The Women in Black is a delightful book set at the end of the 1950s in the Ladies Cocktail Frocks section on the second floor of F G Goode’s Department Store in Sydney (loosely based on David Jones). The story centres around the lives of the black-frocked sales assistants working there – Patty, Mrs Williams, … Continue reading Book Review – The Women in Black by Madeleine St John

A Glimpse of Elizabethan Norwich

I am currently revising my next novel, The Bridled Tongue, which is set partly in Norwich. Although Norwich suffered extensive bombing during World War II, there are numerous areas where Norwich's history is still plain. In 2016 I visited Norwich and so was able to glimpse the streets and sights that would have been familiar … Continue reading A Glimpse of Elizabethan Norwich

Book Review – The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath

The Woman in the Shadows is a fictional account of the adult life of Elizabeth Wykes, the wife of Thomas Cromwell, a man from relatively humble origins who rose from merchant and lawyer to become chief minister to Henry VIII. For most people, all that is known of Elizabeth is as Cromwell’s wife, a background … Continue reading Book Review – The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath