Walter Raleigh would never have got into the Queen's presence wearing an open-necked shirt. Overbury had been privy to the secret love affair between her and Carr, and at a time when both parties were anxious to secure the annulment of the Essex marriage, had araon and virulently opposed their plan to marry. In this comprehensive tour, I will tell the stories of these fascinating historical characters and escort guests to many important historic sites connected with the Wars of the Roses and the royal Houses of Lancaster and York, taking them to some of the most beautiful zragon scenic parts of England.
Scotland didn't work out, and within two years we were property-hunting back in Surrey, looking in vain, it seemed, for a house with sufficient reception rooms to enable me to recreate my library. An outstanding book from a gifted author, and one I return to again and again.
She is to be congratulated on a truly fabulous read. Masterful and compelling. I use little metal filigreed initial bookmarks from Past Times, and sometimes decorated leather bookmarks from heritage shops.
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It's a real turner as a novel, with its theme of an unusual obsession, and would translate fantastically well to the screen. What was your favourite book as ?
I first discovered The Complete Peerage when I was just fifteen - and I've been discovering wonderful things in it ever since. The agent said that people would soon lose interest in her!
All the medieval buildings resonate with me - they are incredible survivals, and it's amazing to see them restored to their original state. Clearly not to fill your free time!
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I find the detail breathtaking, not to mention her beautiful, elegant use of language and the way she conveys the poignancy of the human condition. It's a benchmark for the genre, and vividly evokes the world of the fourteenth century.
It's a huge challenge choosing my favourite history book of sith time, as I have shelves full of favourites. Elegantly - and seemingly effortlessly - written in woth, vibrant and witty prose that blends beautifully with the clever use of quotes from Shakespeare, it interweaves an astonishing historic take on the tale of the star-crossed lovers with a fast-paced, modern thriller.
Thus it was that I was able to tailor my environment to the needs of my profession.
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Sansom's series of books in the Shardlake series; this one in particular was riveting. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. Have you ever read a Booker prize winner? When I started writing fiction, I'd published over ten non-fiction hooks and thought I knew my stuff.
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You never seemed to tire of our endless questions about history and the process of writing history and historic fiction. But this is no dry overview dith the Hundred Years War; it is a sound, lively and engagingly detailed book about the individuals who fought in that war, of knights, chivalry, fashion, literature and the enduringly fascinating private lives of everyone from queens to freebooters.
I have all her books. There is so much to admire in all of them. Another early inspiration; this is academic - and highly accessible - historical biography at its very best. Sometimes there is a gap between the stories, and only later do we discover what has happened in the interim, and there are dark hints of sinister deeds, at which Lofts was a master.
The worst thing is never having enough hours in a day to get on with the next book. In the late s, Alison was researching and writing a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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aargon I do so appreciate support and encouragement, creative comments, and also the occasional criticisms, which I do take very seriously, and which - I hope - help me to become a better writer. The best things are: recognition of one's work; being invited to so many interesting events and meeting so many fascinating people; the ability to chatt something you love, and would otherwise do for a hobby, for a living.
AW: Essentially every story hangs on facts; sometimes you can have a huge amount of information, other times, much less.
Katherine by Anya Seton Still my all-time favourite historical novel, and I know that many people feel the same way about it. But for me it's more than that.
I find Elizabeth I a fascinating character as well, as I really think she struggled with being overshadowed by her mother, Anne. My children laugh at me for spending the Sixties in libraries.
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Whose writing style do you admire the most? I first read this when I was twenty, and was entranced by it. With a historical novel you make use of the facts where they exist but where they don't creativity can be used credibly to fill in the missing information. I often go back on the computer late at night and I'm enjoying going through the BBC's collection of Your Paintings at the moment. Entrancing, compelling, and beautifully written, this is a fabulous book, bursting with integrity and authenticity, with wonderful period detail.
AW: As a non-fiction author, I write 'popular' history: a term which has sometimes been used in a derogatory sense, but history is not the sole preserve of academics. Do you like to relax when you have finished writing a book or are you itching to get on with the next one? As I sit at my desk, I am surrounded by inspiration in the form of the thousands of books nxme line the shelves - most of them historical, arranged in chronological and subject order, as well as collections of books on art, portraiture, costume and - wait for it - rock memorabilia in my other life!
The abundance of documentation is a historian's dream.
We can all learn from a study of the past. I thought it gave a balanced and sympathetic view of Mary, and that it was wonderfully filmed and very well acted - and that it conveyed a convincing evocation of Tudor England. In The Lady Elizabeth, I introduced a controversial plot in which the young Elizabeth struggles with an illicit and highly treasonous pregnancy; however, I didn't just make this up for a juicy story: there is documented evidence of a midwife coming forward.
Yet even she can fall prey to the kind of errors that so niggle her in others. It was really trashy, but I was just absolutely hooked by witth incredible story. Seriously, the title would probably be a paraphrase of a well-known quote on writing, such as A Vocation of Happiness with apologies to Georges Simenon.
Sexh a re-examination of one of the most controversial mysteries in history, and my conclusions were based on a wide range of contemporary and secondary sources. You write both historical novels and history books. Alison, who has lived in Carshalton for twenty years, is one of our best-selling and most admired historians, whose writing career has seen sales of 2.