Mary Queen of Scots—Great Film

Go see Mary Queen of Scots. See it for the acting, see it for the history, see it for the Gaidhlig and, most importantly, see it for the unique story it tells. Even if you know what happens, the way they tell it is profound. Very few stories have the message this one does, and … Continue reading Mary Queen of Scots—Great Film

Hereward—Bourne Again

How have I not heard of this guy until well into my twenties? I’d like to think after a history degree and a lifetime’s interest in all things historical, I’d know all the key players in the time periods I was interested in. Apparently not. Que James Wilde, and his desire to bring Hereward to … Continue reading Hereward—Bourne Again

Re-watching Rome—the knife-edge of history

“But let us turn to the different, but equally grave, plight of the modern historian… knowing more and more about less and less, sunk without trace in an ocean of facts.” A little while ago I made a post about appreciating the layman when it comes to history. I basically said they’re great at getting … Continue reading Re-watching Rome—the knife-edge of history

Mulan—what a great film

You know, it’s kinda funny talking about the Disney film Mulan. To anyone older than say thirty-five, it’s a kid’s film so why would you watch it? To anyone in their teens now, you’ve grown up with 3D animation so spectacular, what’s the point of cartoons? But to those of us in between, those of … Continue reading Mulan—what a great film

Studying history is like learning a new language

The two biggest mistakes you can make learning a new language or studying history are thinking, "They're exactly like me," and, "They're nothing like me." It's so natural to drift between these two extremes in both scenarios and yet I think that the more we're conscious of our tendency to think in this way, the … Continue reading Studying history is like learning a new language

Who am I to write?—My inspiration to write Historical Fiction

Surrounded by such great authors as Bernard Cornwell, Philippa Gregory and Conn Iggulden, I was convinced writing Historical Fiction was a valuable, almost noble endeavour. But how did I think I could compete with such greats? I wasn't sure until I read one particular author who convinced me it was worth a shot. I'm talking … Continue reading Who am I to write?—My inspiration to write Historical Fiction

Conn Iggulden—Lord of the bow

"As they faced a massed charge for the second time, the militia bunched even tighter, terrified and confused.   Twenty thousand buzzing arrows smashed the red lines to their knees..." Conn Iggulden, Lords of the Bow. Sometimes you just want a good battle. If that was all he did, that would be enough. But Conn … Continue reading Conn Iggulden—Lord of the bow

Philippa Gregory—The Other Boleyn Girl

"Jane had gone to pray for the dead queen, Anne would dance on her grave." Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl. Back when few people had heard of Game of Thrones, Philippa Gregory had taken the world by storm. On the one hand, The Other Boleyn Girl is like any other medieval court novel: intrigue, sex, … Continue reading Philippa Gregory—The Other Boleyn Girl

Bernard Cornwell—Over the Hills and Far Away

"O'er the hills and o'er the main Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain King George commands and we obey Over the hills and far away" Why is Bernard Cornwell such a successful Historical Fiction author? I have a slight confession to start with. While I've read almost every other book Cornwell has written, I haven't actually … Continue reading Bernard Cornwell—Over the Hills and Far Away

History or Fiction… you can’t have both, can you?

"[...] wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all—it is very tiresome: and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention." Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.  "I know it is the fashion … Continue reading History or Fiction… you can’t have both, can you?