The Lenten and Easter season in pre-Reformation England was rich in sights and sounds and smells. Shrove Tuesday was celebrated with pancakes and football games, plays and masquerades. Ash Wednesday brought the blessing of ashes and their application by the priest to the foreheads of the faithful with the injunction ‘Remember O man that thou are … Continue reading Easter in Early Modern England
The Familiars by Stacey Halls I left the house with the letter because I did not know what else to do. The Innocents by C. A. Asbrey The blade slipped through the skin, twisting and gouging over and over again until the soft flesh was mushy and yielding to the blade. The Watermelon Boys by … Continue reading My Reading – March 2019
A year ago today I published Forsaking All Other, an Elizabethan love story set against the war in the Netherlands abroad and Catholic plots at home. Forsaking All Other has been almost continuously in the top 50 bestsellers in Amazon’s Tudor Historical Romance Category for the last eight months – and for a brief shining … Continue reading It’s My Book’s Birthday!
I have something of a magpie brain—I like to collect shiny bits of information, not necessarily immediately useful but interesting, to me at least. Over the past few weeks I have been heavily revising my current work in progress, The Bridled Tongue, and checking that I have no glaring anachronisms. These are some of the … Continue reading Elizabethan Magpie Pickings
The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey Dust and ashes though I am, I sleep the sleep of angels. How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain by Ruth Goodman Welcome to a century of bad behaviour. How To Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life by Ruth Goodman Just before dawn the cockerels began … Continue reading My Reading – February 2019
The Heir’s Tale is the first book in the series, The Soldiers of Fortune, tracing the fortunes of the sons of the Earl of Somerton following the Battle of Poitiers. In 1357, Ancelin Montfort, the Earl’s second son, returns home bringing with him the news of his elder brother John’s death in that battle. Ancelin … Continue reading Book Review – The Heir’s Tale by April Munday
While each year I read dozens of excellent and memorable books, there are few that I feel compelled to reread. There are a handful, though, that I keep coming back to. No doubt the primary reason for re-reading is that these particular books have an emotional appeal. There is the added delight of discovering new … Continue reading Favourite Books
Call of the Curlew begins on 30 December 2015. 86-year-old Virginia Wrathmell has known for years that one New Year’s Eve she will walk onto the marsh and meet her end there. She has been waiting for a sign. The sign has now appeared on her doorstep in the form of a fragile curlew’s skull. … Continue reading Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks
Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks Virginia Wrathmell knows she will walk on the marsh one New Year's Eve, and meet her end there. The Corset by Laura Purcell My sainted mother taught me the seven acts of corporeal mercy: to feed the hungry; refresh the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the traveller; visit … Continue reading My Reading – January 2019
Yesterday was National Handwriting Day in a number of countries and wonderful images of pages handwritten by various people from the past were floating around the internet. One was the the draft of a speech given by Elizabeth I to Parliament on 10 April 1563 responding to a House of Lords petition urging her to … Continue reading More than just written words?