Philippe, the narrator of this tale, is secretary to Count De Lorenzo, and lover to the Count’s young wife. He is tasked with buying young boys from poor villagers, having them castrated and taking them to Florence to be taught to sing as castrati. The parents are told that their sons are especially blessed with […]
If medieval pilgrims were the first mass tourists, then was Venice the first tour operator?
In early 2013 I found an intriguing old photograph in a local charity shop. I love anonymous old pictures of people, especially if they hadn’t realised they were being photographed: they’re like a stolen glimpse into a vanished life. This scene was of a narrow street running between rows of small, conical stone houses, and […]
Before writing The Night Falling, I went on my first ever overseas research trip: to Puglia, in the far south of Italy’s ‘heel’. I wasn’t sure what I’d find – whether all traces of the inter-war era I was interested in would have been wiped out. Puglia is an increasingly popular tourist destination, and I […]
When I was researching the background to ‘Theatre of War’, the third book in my ‘Follies’ quartet, Ihad a really lucky meeting. The book is set in World War ll and my hero, Richard, an agent for SOE, was going to work with the Italian partisans in an area called the Garfagnana, a valley whichruns […]