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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‘They that in Ships unto the Sea down go: Music for the Mayflower’: A Guest Post by Tamsin Lewis of Passamezzo

I direct the early music group Passamezzo, an established ensemble known for their ability to bring historical events to life through their engaging performances and programming. We specialize in English Elizabethan and Jacobean repertoire. 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, and so it seems appropriate to record a CD of music to celebrate… 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: ‘Entertaining Mr Pepys’ by Deborah Swift

Entertaining Mr Pepys is the third and final chapter of Deborah Swift’s trilogy on that most famous naval administrator/diarist of the late seventeenth century: Samuel Pepys. That said, it can be read as a standalone work – although I read the first book in the series, I wasn’t able to read the second one, but that did not… 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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