Category Archives: History

Book Review: ‘The White Ship’ by Charles Spencer

I do not usually review books that are not about the 17th-century or the Stuart period, but given that this author has written several important works about the Stuart period, I thought I might make an exception this time (and that you’ll forgive me for doing so). I know I’m not the only historian who was surprised when… Read on

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Restoration 360

Hi there! Last year, my friend Claire Hobson had planned for a day of history talks to coincide with the 360th anniversary of the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 with King Charles II. This event was also going to be a fundraiser for the charity, Mind, for mental health. Unfortunately, shortly before we were going to… Read on

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The Lost Case for Murder: A Guest Post by Stephen M. Carter

The Lost Case for Murder, 6 February 1685 by Stephen M. Carter In today’s social media-filled world, conspiracy theories and fake news spread like a wildfire that burns truth in its path. Therefore, when we look back at history we do so with envy. Surely, the facts are the facts? Especially when later writers repeat the same accounts,… Read on

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Cromwell Museum’s Winter Lecture Series

Hear ye! Earlier this evening, historian Paul Lay was the first speaker in the Cromwell Museum’s Winter Lecture Series and gave a really fascinating talk about the West Indies during the time of the Cromwellian Protectorate, with figures such as Admiral William Penn and Robert Venables. I’m honoured to have been asked to be the second speaker in… Read on

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TSCL Interview with Charles Spencer

On 25th November 1120, the White Ship sank in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, France—an event which led to the drowning of the heir to the English throne, William Adelin—triggering a time of brutal civil war which came to be known as the Anarchy. Today I’m speaking with Charles Spencer, historian and author of the… Read on

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Coffee House Culture: A Guest Post by Toni Mount

In England, under Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan regime, drunkenness was considered an ungodly sin but, at the time, as for centuries before, ale or beer were the safest drinks. Water might be a more godly drink but the danger of swallowing disease-causing agents with every mouthful was understood, even if microbes wouldn’t be discovered for another two centuries. Therefore,… Read on

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Book Review: ‘How to Use Your Enemies’ by Baltasar Graciàn

I bought this book a few years ago when Penguin started publishing these small, and very affordable, black books. I bought several, including this book by a Spanish priest and author, Baltasar Graciàn, who lived from 1601 to 1658. Honestly, I’d never heard of him before. Other reviews I read were somewhat disparaging, opining that it was Machiavellian.… Read on

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Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain is OUT NOW!

Hear ye! Gentle Readers, my sixth book, Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain ?, is AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon UK and throughout Europe, Australia, Japan, and Canada! Folks in the United States can preorder now! Some readers have told me they’ve purchased through their local indie booksellers, or from High Street chains such as Waterstones, but also directly… Read on

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‘Naked and Barefoot’—Colonial Quaker Women Finding Courage: A Guest Post by Jae Hodges

‘In his journals, George Fox wrote of an occasion when he joined a gathering of men and women of all faiths in a steeple house near his home in Leicester. The discussion of the Book of Peter inspired a woman to speak out and ask a question, what was birth. The priest bade her sit down for he would not permit her . . . or perhaps any woman . . . to speak in his church, though before Fox understood that the priest had given liberty to all who wished to speak. A debate of what constituted a church followed.’

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‘The Perils of Being an Early Modern Bottle-Blonde’ – A Guest Post by Pete Langman

It’s quite usual to compliment the author of a work of historical fiction on their research, even though this doesn’t mean much more than ‘we’ve read the same history books’, but there is something to be said for appropriating knowledge that you happen to have, even if it didn’t start out as a considered part of the book.… Read on

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Hear ye! News, Audiobooks, & More!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your 2020 has started well. Our house has been plagued with one bad cold after another (and I’ve been coughing like mad for over a month!). Well, lots of things are going on at the moment. I’ve been scheduling several new posts: guest writers, book reviews, and new history articles. Also, I… Read on

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Epidemic: Were the Powers that Be Powerless to Prevent the Plague?: A Guest Post by Claire Canary

One of the many things to really slow me down in writing historical fiction is the level of interest I’ve taken in my research. Nevertheless, it’s been the best learning experience of my life! Thanks to works such as Rebecca Rideal’s 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire, I’ve built the confidence to take Andrea up on her kind offer… Read on

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Seven little known facts about Nell Gwyn: A Guest Post by Deborah Swift

1. Nell experimented with cross-dressing.  Between 1663 and 1667 she posed under the name “William Nell” and adopted a false beard. The disguise stood her in good stead when she needed to act as a man on the stage in March 1667, and we know from Pepys’ diary that he found her performance the best he’d ever seen. 2.… Read on

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Book Review: Royalist Rebel by Anita Seymour

Royalist Rebel, written by Anita Seymour and published in 2013 by Claymore Press (a former fiction imprint of Pen & Sword), is a biographical novel of Elizabeth Murray, the fascinating Countess Dysart and later Duchess of Lauderdale. The eldest of four daughters of William Murray – a loyal courtier of King Charles I – the real Elizabeth lived… Read on

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Cover reveal: Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain!

Hear ye! Hear ye! Earlier today on my social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I posted the cover for my book, Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain, which will be published by Pen & Sword History at a date to be determined. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It’s possibly my best cover to date. I’ll certainly post more… Read on

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Hear ye! A Tale of Two Contracts

Hear ye! A week after submitting my completed (pre-edited) manuscript of Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain, I am very pleased, and also a little anxious, to tell you that I have just signed two contracts with Pen & Sword History to write two biographies of two very, very different Stuart-era ladies. Whilst both ladies have been written… Read on

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Elizabeth Stuart: A Tragic Princess – A Guest Post by Sarah-Beth Watkins

Elizabeth was the second daughter of Charles I, the ill-fated king who would unprecedentedly lose his life after years of civil war. Born in 1635 to a London covered in snow, this daughter was named after her godmother and aunt, Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Winter Queen and would earn the nickname ‘the winter princess’. Elizabeth would grow up… Read on

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Book Review: An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

An Instance of the Fingerpost, published in 1998, is a rather large work of historical fiction – 704 pages long! As I had this read aloud to me by my husband whenever we had some free time – which was not often – it took over a year to get through it – but it was totally worth… Read on

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