Book Review: ‘The Guardian’ by Maeve Greyson

Sometimes we need a bit of escapism and, for me, that sometimes means a romance—and this book totally fit the bill. I have to be honest, I wasn’t really interested in the beginning, but that might just be down to me not being in the right frame of mind for it. I even thought about giving up around… Read on

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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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In Memory of Blackie the Cat

In memory of Blackie Margaret Hale, c.1999-August 17, 2021. Those who have followed me over the years know who Blackie was, and I would like to talk about her on this sad day. Earlier today, my family and I decided to have our beloved cat put to sleep due to her irreversible health problems. She was approximately 22… Read on

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Book Review: ‘Legacy’ by John Pilkington

The Gunpowder Plot is one of those major subjects of the early Stuart era (the Jacobean period) that people tend to know about, but, in my experience, very few historical fiction works focus on the period just after that. In John Pilkington’s novel ‘Legacy’, however, we meet Robert Belstrang, a former Justice who leads a quiet life in… Read on

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Book Review: ‘The Imprisoned Princess” by Catherine Curzon

When Queen Anne died in 1714, her throne should have passed to her younger brother, James (son of James II of England & VII of Scotland and Mary of Modena). But since James was a Catholic and the Act of Settlement of 1701 (during the reign of William III) cut all Catholics out of the line of succession,… 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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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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