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)
I regard writing as in some ways like sculpting with clay. In sculpting the starting point is a design and an armature (the framework on which a clay sculpture is moulded), with writing most of us begin with a general idea of the story we want to tell and the arc it will follow even … Continue reading Revision, revision, revision
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
Quite a number of factors need to be taken into account when choosing the names for characters. Some apply to any form of fiction such as ensuring that the character names are distinct and not easily confused with other characters, that they do not sound alike or look similar on paper. Even initials need to … Continue reading What’s in a name?
Quite some years ago I applied for a job cataloguing maps. The interview was going well when one of the interviewers placed a map in front of me and asked me how I would catalogue it - it was a cadastral map overlaying a topographic map of an area of Melbourne in the 1880s. I … Continue reading Maps
Not strictly speaking a photograph but definitely almost photographic in its detail. This pictorial map of Hobart in 1879 by A.C. Cooke is an invaluable resource for researchers and writers. It gives an idea of the life of Hobart at the time - buildings that no longer exist such as the Campbell Street Gaol, unpopulated … Continue reading Hobart 1879