‘It is an action like a stratagem in war where man can err but once’ – Choosing a spouse in 16th century England

During the 16th century, as in the centuries both before and after, marriage was a state that most aspired to - it gave both men and women status not only as full adults but, in the case of men, that of householder. Without marriage, women had few opportunities to independently support themselves. Except for those … Continue reading ‘It is an action like a stratagem in war where man can err but once’ – Choosing a spouse in 16th century England

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

Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures 2017

In the Reith Lectures this year Hilary Mantel discusses what is at the heart of good historical fiction, our relationship with the past, and the central elements in a historical novelist's attempt to bring the past alive for us today. As Mantel herself says 'The reason you must stick by the truth is that it … Continue reading Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures 2017

Early Modern Women – Elizabeth Paston (1429-1488)

I have been fascinated by the 15th and 16th centuries since I studied Early Modern British history in my first year at university. In my reading over the ensuing years I have caught sight of people who had no influence on the grand scheme of things yet they  brought history to life, reminding me vividly that … Continue reading Early Modern Women – Elizabeth Paston (1429-1488)

Language in Historical Fiction

I suppose I am getting ahead of myself blogging about the way I write historical fiction when I have nothing published yet, so these are as much the thoughts of a reader as a writer. While the details of place, and manners and customs play a large part in creating the historical world, the style … Continue reading Language in Historical Fiction

Elizabethan Resources – Politics and Religion

Continuing my list of sources used in researching the background from my novel, Forsaking All Others. Politics Budiansky, Stephen Her majesty's spymaster : Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the birth of modern espionage Viking, 2005. Cressy, David Dangerous talk. Scandalous, seditious, and treasoable speech in pre-modern England Oxford: OUP, 2010. Dop, Jan Albert Eliza's … Continue reading Elizabethan Resources – Politics and Religion

Elizabethan Resources – Women’s Lives

Continuing my list of sources used in researching the background from my novel, Forsaking All Others, to be released as an ebook at the end of 2017. Primary Hoby, Lady Margaret The private life of an Elizabethan lady. The diary of Lady Margaret Hoby 1599-1605 (Ed. Joanna Moody) Stroud : Sutton Publishing, 1998. Sharp, Jane … Continue reading Elizabethan Resources – Women’s Lives

Elizabethan sources – Sex, Marriage and Family Life

Continuing my list of sources used in researching the background from my novel, Forsaking All Others, to be released as an ebook at then end of 2017. Primary Davis, Norman (Ed.) The Paston letters. A selection in modern spelling Oxford : OUP, 1963. Houlbrooke, Ralph A. (ed.) English family life 1576-1716: an anthology from dairies … Continue reading Elizabethan sources – Sex, Marriage and Family Life