Tag: Social History Page 1 of 5

Author Guest Post: Geoff Scargill

Stars of the Victorian Era

The Victorian Era, an age when Britain ruled the world, threw up a stream of great characters. Even if you haven’t been interested in puff-puff engines since you were little and don’t read Thomas the Tank Engine before you go to sleep any more, the chances are that you’ve heard of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, if only because of his exotic name. He built the Great Western Railway with its own broad-gauge tracks, which meant that when you travelled to the south-west from anywhere else in Britain you had to get out at Exeter and board one of Brunel’s wider trains. He was one of the supremely confident men who captured the spirit of the age. If they had an idea, they did it.

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Author Guest Post: Lisetta Lovett

Forget the stereotype! Most people on hearing the name Casanova immediately think of a libertine and debauched figure, tropes pedalled by numerous films, (of which the 1976 Fellini version was particularly vicious), television series, plays, books and even music from the early 20th century. What would a man like that have to say about the serious subjects of illness and medical practice? ‘Is it all about venereal disease?’ was a common question from acquaintances during the six years or so that I was researching my book.

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Author Guest Post: Zöe Wheddon

5 Things you need to know about Martha Lloyd

In my forthcoming debut biography Jane Austen’s Best Friend, The Life and Influence of Martha Lloyd I undertake an examination of an often overlooked, yet very special friendship. In shining a light on Jane Austen in the role of best friend we get to picture her as she has never really been viewed before. What we glean about her as a person is both riveting and heart-warming. However, as Martha Lloyd steps out of the shadows, she too reveals herself to be excellent best friend material and a very interesting woman of her time. Indeed, in researching her history I ended up really liking her very much indeed and if at the start of my journey I felt a little envious of Martha for her friendship with our beloved authoress, by the end, I felt more than a little jealous of Jane having Martha as her bestie. So, what can I tell you about Martha Lloyd to convince you to spend a little more time with her. Here are 5 things you need to know about Jane Austen’s Best Friend.

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Author Guest Post: Suzie Grogan

A life as relevant today – John Keats: Poetry, Life and Landscapes

I first became interested in John Keats when I was about 12, when a children’s TV show produced a ‘special’ on writer’s houses and chose Wentworth Place in Hampstead, now known as Keats House. All through my teens and on through adulthood his life story, poetry and letters have resonated with me and a lifetime of study has culminated in the publication of John Keats: Poetry Life & Landscapes in January 2021. It is coming out to coincide with the bicentenary of Keats’s death. 200 years ago, on the 23rd February 1821, when he died in Rome of tuberculosis, aged just 25.

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Author Guest Post: Vyvyen Brendon

Jane Austen and Brothers at Sea

Jane Austen’s life and work often sprang into my mind while I was writing Children at Sea. I imagined the black violinist Joseph Emidy playing at occasions like the Mansfield Park or Netherfield balls; I pictured Midshipman Othnel Mawdesley setting off from a parsonage similar to Steventon, leaving behind two unmarried sisters resembling Jane and Cassandra; and I compared William and Charles Barlow’s naval feats with those of her fictional seamen and her own brothers. I even came to suspect that William Barlow crept into the last novel in the shape of a dissolute minor character.

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Blog Tour: Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia

Our final blog tour of 2020 has come to an end! We’ve loved seeing what bloggers thought of Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia by Samantha Morris. Here are some of the highlights.

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Author Guest Post: Jan Slimming

Merry Christmas : Here’s my Reindeer message!

Top Ten Things

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Author Guest Post: Darren Baker

Eleanor of Provence and the Founding of Parliament

There is no cornerstone or date when parliament was founded. It arose in early thirteenth-century England because Magna Carta imposed limits on the monarch’s authority. From then on, if the king or queen wanted money or men for war or whatever, they had to summon assemblies of barons and clergy and ask them for a tax.

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Author Guest Post: Samantha Morris

Murder Most Foul

The Dastardly Murder of Alfonso d’Aragona

Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, married her second husband in 1498 following a rather public and humiliating divorce from her first husband, Giovanni Sforza. There had been no love lost between Lucrezia and Sforza so when a marriage was arranged for her with the illegitimate son of King Alfonso II of Naples, it was expected to be a marriage of politics and little else. Yet Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso d’Aragona surprised everyone and, following their wedding in 1498, fell head over heels in love with one another.

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Author Guest Post: Tim Heath

The Birth of Extremism

Creating Hitler’s Germany

This book was one I wrote specifically to try and understand what led Germany to be ultimately responsible for two of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century, the First and Second World Wars. One could argue that the Second World War was merely an extension of the first, yet the events leading to both were entirely different in circumstance.

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