Review: The Devil on the Road by Robert Westall

The Devil on the Road by Robert Westall was published in 1977 and recommended by my husband. Apparently, according to my husband, was a title on a reading list at school and he read it back in the early 1980s. I had never heard of this book before, but as he had very fond memories of it, and as… Read on

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Bank Holiday fun at Stokesay Castle

Last weekend was a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK. These are usually jam-packed with events of all sorts. Some people enjoy romantic getaways, BBQs with friends (if the weather is good), attend sporting events, go to concerts, and others like to visit historic sites. I fall into the latter category, especially if said historic sites having… Read on

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Review: Arbella Stuart – The Uncrowned Queen by Jill Armitage

Arbella Stuart: The Uncrowned Queen by Jill Armitage, published by Amberley Publishing in 2017, (the title on Goodreads is Arbella Stuart: England’s Almost Queen) takes readers back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and begins with the formidable Bess of Hardwick’s invitation of Meg, Countess of Lennox, to one of her houses. Now, Bess of Hardwick was… Read on

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The Golden Boy of the Jacobean Age: A Guest Post by Sarah Fraser

The Golden Boy of the Jacobean Age: first Prince of Wales of Great Britain, is this perhaps one of the greatest Kings we never had?   Discovering Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), the drama, excitement and heartbreak of his all too brief life enchanted me. I have sons. I recognised in Henry the same young man’s insatiable… Read on

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Review: Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant

Being as I’m reading absolutely anything set in the seventeenth century at the moment, it’s no surprise that includes a bit of erotica, as Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant is. I don’t mind erotica, it’s not totally my cup of tea, but neither am I against it. If you find explicit sex scenes unpleasant or offensive, this book… Read on

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Review: Spain: The Centre of the World 1519-1682 by Robert Goodwin

Being as I don’t know as much as I’d like about the history of early modern Spain, I’m currently trying to rectify this at present. Enter Robert Goodwin’s book, Spain: The Centre of the World, 1519-1682, which I listened to in audiobook format with a duration of some 21 hours. This is, in my opinion, an excellent overview… Read on

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Review: Lady on the Coin by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Lady on the Coin, written by Margaret Campbell Barnes and first published in the early 1960s, follows the life of Frances Stuart, the woman who was the model for Britannia. Frances Stuart was related to the Royal House of Stuart and this story begins during the Stuarts’ exile in France following the English Civil Wars and ends during… Read on

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Review: Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre

A few years ago, I went to a classical violin concert at the Wigmore Hall in London. The music selected was the kind you tend to get on Radio 3, slightly weird, postmodern, and lacking any discernible melody. I was absolutely bored out of my mind until the end when the violinist played Massenet’s Meditation from Thais. Given… Read on

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Lady Johanna’s Recipe: A Guest Post by Elizabeth St. John

Today, we welcome Elizabeth St.John, author of The Lady in the Tower, a novel set in the seventeenth century. Heads up, folks, Elizabeth will be giving an Author Talk at Lydiard House as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature on May 4th, 2017.  The Vertues of Gilberts Water and other Curatives from Lady Johanna’s Recipe Book by… Read on

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Historical Fiction: How important is historical accuracy? A conversation with historian Sara Read

Last year on The Seventeenth Century Lady, we had a guest post by literary historian Dr Sara Read, entitled Menstruation & Female Bleeding in Seventeenth-Century England. To this day, this is one of the most popular guest posts in this site’s history, with over 17,000 reads. I’m delighted to welcome Sara back today, conversing with me about historical… Read on

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Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

As I’m no longer bound by deadlines for my own work, I’ve been making progress on my list of books to read for fun. One of these was The Miniaturist, which was published in 2015 and widely acclaimed. This book was, largely, unputdownable and I looked forward to the few minutes of reading time I have at the… Read on

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Inspired by the 17th-century: An Interview with Paul Workman, Artist

The Seventeenth Century Lady Interview with Paul Workman. The seventeenth century had some amazing art, and it’s no wonder that some of that brilliant art continues to inspire artists in our day. Paul Workman is a perfect example of this, for he is an artist who, inspired by the likes of major portraitists such as Peter Lely, makes… Read on

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Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Sophia is the beautiful and much-younger wife of Cornelius, a wealthy merchant in Amsterdam. Her husband is quite likeable and rather amusing, and she is content enough with the life she leads with him. Everything gets turned upside down when Cornelius decides he wants to get their joint portraits painted by painter Jan van Loos. Van Loos and Sophia… Read on

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Review: Silence by Shūsaku Endō

Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996) was a Japanese writer famed for incorporating his Roman Catholicism as a theme into his work. Silence, originally published in 1966 is a novel set in the 1630s and which centres around the young Portuguese Catholic priest, Rodrigues, who sets off from Portugal with his fellow priest and missionary, Garupe. The two have heard rumours concerning… Read on

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2016: Egad, what a year!

Looking back on 2016 is both bitter and wonderful for me. My health played a huge role and this had a knock-on effect for practically everything else in my life. Firstly, I became pregnant in January and this was of considerable emotional stress for me, particularly because in autumn of 2015, I miscarried my first child (hence the… Read on

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HNS Oxford 2016

Good day to you! From Friday 2nd to Sunday the 4th of September, I attended the Historical Novel Society Conference in Oxford. This was the second HNS conference I attended – the first being two years ago in London – but this was the first one in which I took part as a speaker. I had a really… Read on

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Review: House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

4.5 stars – I really liked this book, which is historical fiction, time-slip, fantasy, historical and contemporary romance, and even has a bit of murder mystery. There are three different storylines, one in the seventeenth century, the early nineteenth century, and present day. It should be no surprise that my favourite story was the one set in the… Read on

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Review: The Age of Genius by A.C. Grayling

3/5 – This book left me with mixed feelings – especially as Grayling is one of the most respected modern philosophers and I had been excited to read the book (which I would suggest is good for those who already have knowledge about the time period). I agree with Grayling that the seventeenth century was an amazing time in… Read on

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The Merchant’s House, Marlborough, Wiltshire.

After our stay at the Stonehenge campsite last Autumn, Gavin and I made our way to Marlborough, which is a lovely town in Wiltshire, England. This amazing house was built for and lived in by a wealthy seventeenth-century silk merchant named Thomas Bayly. The construction is believed to date from between 1653 and 1700, and the interiors have… Read on

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Hear ye! News from The Seventeenth Century Lady…

Good day to you all! There are a number of things to mention here today. In April, I was one of the first contributors to the brand-new history magazine, History of Royals, and I was delighted to write a feature on the Romanovs. It was a wonderful experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed researching that imperial family from 1613-1918.… Read on

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“Maria Merian’s Butterflies” at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace recently opened their latest exhibition, Maria Merian’s Butterflies on the 15th of April, 2016. According to the Press Office: “The exhibition will tell the extraordinary story of 17th-and-18th-century artist and explorer Maria Sibylla Merian through the superb collection of her work in the Royal Collection. In 1699, at the age of 52, Merian… Read on

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