Linda Davies on how an unusual Christmas gift led to a fascination with the medieval longbow, and the book she was always meant to write. Writers are often asked what inspired them to write a particular book. The inspirations behind Longbow Girl go back to my own childhood, to the gifts I was given, and […]
If medieval pilgrims were the first mass tourists, then was Venice the first tour operator?
Catherine Hanley on the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln. In May 1217 the realm of England was in chaos. A year previously Louis, heir to the throne of France and a renowned warrior, had invaded; he had been invited by English nobles unhappy with King John’s broken promises. He declared that the crown […]
Sarah Hawkswood, author of the Bradecote and Catchpoll series, on how being an academic historian influences her fiction. I am an historian, and I am also a writer of historical fiction. Being the former influences how I write as the latter, imposes a ‘morality’, but I do not see it as constricting. I also do not […]
Karen Maitland is known for her meticulous research, gothic sensibilities and page-turning storytelling. Her new book, The Plague Charmer, is a typically dark, vivid account of the return of the Black Death to a small Devon village in the year 1361. Historia caught up with her to find out all about it. How did the initial […]
‘When did witches start to fly?’ a reader asked me after the Harrogate History Festival. Good question! Until the 16th century, witchcraft was not a crime unless it caused injury or death. The community needed witches who could calm storms or banish pests from crops. Early writers on witchcraft didn’t mention the infamous witches’ sabbat. […]