“All lines converged on the Dragon Yard case and the Fire Court at Clifford’s Inn.” But in Andrew Taylor’s second book in the James Marwood and Cat Lovett series, set in London just after the Great Fire, those lines tangle and twist fiendishly before coming together, writes Frances Owen. It’s 1667. James Marwood, son of […]
Looking for your next read? HWA members review the best new historical writing, recommend their desert island books and revisit some old favourites.
“She thought of time as like a ribbon unspooling; the present moment was the only inch of the stuff you could grasp as it cascaded past you, framed by the diamond buckle of now.” I shall confess to two things from the start of this review: a love of Martine Bailey’s previous books and a […]
If the release of a new period drama isn’t accompanied by a debate about its historical accuracy, is it even a period drama?
The bones of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite are entirely factual – Queen Anne really did have a female ‘favourite’, Sarah Churchill, Lady Marlborough
Everything about Les Miserables is built on an epic scale. At around 1500 pages, depending on which edition is making your bookshelf sag, Victor Hugo’s novel (published in 1862) is not only physically enormous, but also it deals with MASSIVE themes: love, obsession, redemption, justice, fate and the nature of good and evil. It’s human […]
Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War at the British Library has been hailed as “a once-in-a-generation exhibition“. Edoardo Albert finds that, in this giant treasure-hoard, the brightest jewels are often in the smallest details. Would you give a thousand acres of the best land for a book? Benedict Biscop, founder of the double monastery at Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, did. […]
The Long Song, (BBC1, 9pm) is an adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Man Booker shortlisted novel and tells the story of July, a slave growing up on a Jamaican plantation in the dying days of slavery. The first episode takes place against the backdrop of the ‘Baptist War’, or ‘Christmas Rebellion’, a slave revolt that increased […]
Locals will tell you that for six months of the year the lakes are in Fermanagh, and for the other six, Fermanagh is in the lakes. Rain sweeps in quickly in this small corner of Ulster. Waters rise and landscapes change. Frontiers are always on the move and borders once thought traversable can suddenly become […]
At first it seems a strange title. “They shall grow not old” is from Laurence Binyon’s epitaph on The Fallen of World War I, but the emphasis in Peter Jackson’s masterly film is firmly on those who survived it: the men who enlisted and went out to France, but lived and came home to tell […]