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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Book Review: The Firefly Witch by Amanda Hughes

I’ve had The Firefly Witch on my bookshelf since it was published a few years ago and I finally had a chance to read it – and I’m glad I did. Set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1662, we meet Circe: a red-haired girl with an amazing skill for weaving. Despite her talents, she doesn’t fit in… Read on

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The Curious Case of Writing Novels about Art: A Guest Post By Brian Howell

The Curious Case of Writing Novels about Art By Brian Howell We all know the adage about those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach. I can apply this not only to my total lack of ability to draw or paint (despite some noble juvenile failures), but also to my wannabe non-status as an art historian (which… Read on

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Book Review: ‘The World of Isaac Newton’ by Toni Mount

Isaac Newton is one of the most well-known personages of the Stuart and Georgian periods due to his towering intellect and his role with the Royal Society. When we think of those amazingly multi-talented Stuart people, Newton is definitely one of them. Toni Mount, the prolific author of The Sebastian Foxley Medieval Murder Mystery series of books, is… Read on

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Book Review: ‘Royal Mistress’ by Patricia Campbell Horton

‘Royal Mistress’ by Patricia Campbell Horton follows the story of Barbara Villiers from her adolescence, her passionate relationship with her first love, Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, through her marriage to Roger Palmer, her notorious reign as Charles II’s long-term mistress, through Charles’s marriage to Catherine of Braganza, her rivalry with Frances Stuart, up to her becoming Duchess… 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: ‘Mistresses’ by Linda Porter

Mistresses: Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II, written by historian Linda Porter and published by Picador in 2020, is the second book on the Stuarts of the seventeenth century by Dr Porter, the first being, Royal Renegades: The Children of Charles I and the English Civil Wars. Porter previously wrote several books on Tudor history,… Read on

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Anna Belfrage’s ‘Glory and Gore’ Blog Event

Acclaimed historical fiction author Anna Belfrage kindly invited me on a blog event entitled, ‘Glory and Gore: The Dichotomy of the Glorious 17th Century’, and I’m honoured to have been the first guest in her line-up! Other authors of works set in the seventeenth-century will be posting in the forthcoming days and I’ll be adding links to them… 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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Book Review: ‘The Bitter Trade’ by Piers Alexander

I came across a Facebook post by historical fiction author Kate Quinn recently in which she wrote: ‘sometimes we come across books at the wrong time. We’re in the wrong mood for a particular book at a particular time, or we’re at the wrong age for it. But we find it later and –chef’s kiss– perfection’. This quote… 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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Book Review: ‘The Tragic Daughters of Charles I’ by Sarah-Beth Watkins

Far more has been written about the sons of King Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria, than about the daughters who were born of the couple—perhaps understandably, since both Charles and James became kings. But with such works as Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII, The Tudor Brandons, Catherine of Braganza, Margaret Tudor,… 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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Book Review: ‘Killing Beauties’ by Pete Langman

KILLING BEAUTIES is a gripping historical fiction novel set during the Protectorate of the 1650s and focuses on the underworld of espionage through the actions of the main character, Susan Hyde. Susan, sister to Edward Hyde (he who is best known for being the powerful advisor to Charles II and for his History of the Rebellion) is a… Read on

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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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