London, 1666. Elizabeth ‘Bird’ Carpenter has a wonderful singing voice, and music is her chief passion. When her father persuades her to marry horse-dealer Christopher Knepp, she suspects she is marrying beneath her station, but nothing prepares her for the reality of life with Knepp. Her father has betrayed her trust, for Knepp cares only for […]
Deborah Swift came across an intriguing area of research when working on her latest novel based on the lives of the women who appear in Samuel Pepys’s Diary, Entertaining Mr Pepys, set in 1666. Among the records we have on the Great Fire of London, there’s one topic which was something of a beast to […]
It’s 1685 and after the victory of Sedgemoor by King James II’s men and the Bloody Assizes that followed, the British Isles face an uneasy time. Many powerful men have grown tired of Catholic James’s autocratic rule and seek to invite William, the Protestant Prince of Orange, to seize the thrones of the Three Kingdoms. […]
In this sixth and final interview with authors shortlisted for the 2019 HWA Crown Awards, Anna-Marie Crowhurst, shortlisted for the HWA Debut Crown, talks about the background to her novel, The Illumination of Ursula Flight. She also has some tips for other first-time writers. The HWA Debut Crown celebrates new voices in historical fiction. Have […]
It’s 1646. Blandford Candy, rake and spy, travels to the colonies on family business. He becomes embroiled in a quest for a priceless emerald cross, once destined for the Pope in Rome but lost in the American wilderness. Our hero has to escape a mutinous pirate crew, warring settlers, and hostile native tribes, but Blandford […]
Boye, a white poodle belonging to Prince Rupert of the Rhine, was killed at the Battle of Marston Moor. Frances Owen looks at the stories that grew up around this famous ‘devil’ dog.
Autumn, 1615. Frances Carr is imprisoned in a cold, lightless room. She is accused of murder. In a cell nearby is her co-accused – her husband Robert. Kept apart, Frances can only tell her side of the story. How did she come to be here? Can she somehow prove her innocence? And what lengths will […]
Frances Gorges has already survived the accusation of witchcraft. But if her torturers at the court of King James knew of her love for Tom Wintour, one of the executed members of the Gunpowder Plot, it would mean certain death. Pregnant with Tom’s child, hiding under the reluctant protection of her spiteful and ambitious brother, […]