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

Dramatis Personae – The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

I have been savouring The Mirror and the Light for about a month now and, like most people, when I think of Thomas Cromwell I think of Mark Rylance although I know he looks nothing like Cromwell. Apart from the major players, I have no idea what many of the other characters looked like. So … Continue reading Dramatis Personae – The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

‘To have and to hold from this day forward’ – The Celebration of Marriage in Early Modern England

The final step on the road to marriage in the 16th century was, as it is now, the marriage service itself. At its most basic, all that was needed to create a marriage was a mutual promise to marry followed by consummation.(1) Unfortunately for many women, this was often not enough to ensure that the … Continue reading ‘To have and to hold from this day forward’ – The Celebration of Marriage in Early Modern England

The Bridled Tongue – Some Background

Usually there are years of research over a wide range of topics involved with any historical novel. Although much of it is, thankfully, not described explicitly in the novel, it all helps to plausibly reconstruct the world as it was. I have drawn together here a number of the blog posts I have written on … Continue reading The Bridled Tongue – Some Background

this covid life

don’t you stand so close to mekeep your distancehold your breathand do not sneeze told a man offin the supermarket‘stop fondling the onions’he looked bemused wipe everything over when you get it homerinse bananas cans of tunaremember: wash your hands seventeen cans of black beansninety-one rolls of toilet paperthree slabs of melbourne eleven bottles of … Continue reading this covid life