Book Review – A Slanting of the Sun by Donal Ryan

A Slanting of the Sun is Donal Ryan's first collection of short stories. It is written in the same beautifully crafted poetic and uniquely Irish prose as his novels. All but one of the twenty stories are told in the first person, each with a distinctive voice. The characters cover a range of ages, sex … Continue reading Book Review – A Slanting of the Sun by Donal Ryan

Witchcraft Trials in Early Modern England

A far more succinct version of this post was published by The Coffee Pot Book Club on 9 March 2020. ‘The early-modern European witch-hunts were neither orchestrated massacres nor spontaneous pogroms. Alleged witches were not rounded up at night and summarily killed extra-judicially or lynched as the victims of mob justice. They were executed after trial and … Continue reading Witchcraft Trials in Early Modern England

Meandering through Cyberspace in February 2020

The internet has dramatically enlarged our access to a wealth of information. Most days I spend some time online looking for items related to those things the interest me most - reading, writing and history. Without fail, every time, I find something new and interesting. So, here, I'd like to share a few of the … Continue reading Meandering through Cyberspace in February 2020

My Reading – January 2020

There was Still Love by Favel ParrettThere are suitcases everywhere. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo IshiguroNiki, the name we finally gave my younger daughter, is not an abbreviation; it was a compromise I reached with her father. Springtime : A Ghost Story by Michelle de KretserThat spring, Frances walked along the river every … Continue reading My Reading – January 2020

The Bridled Tongue – My new novel

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Last Saturday I released my second novel, The Bridled Tongue. This is a story that, once again, takes place in the 1580s with fictional characters set against what I hope is a reasonably accurate historical background. While the developing relationship of the two main characters, … Continue reading The Bridled Tongue – My new novel

Norwich Castle – Palace and Prison

Norwich Castle’s square keep has dominated the centre of Norwich for centuries. It has dominated my thinking, too, for at least four years since I visited it in 2016. It could almost be said that I have obsessed over, particularly, the arrangement of the interior of the castle as a section of my forthcoming novel, … Continue reading Norwich Castle – Palace and Prison