Since beginning my writing career, which I thought was a hobby till my first book was published, I have found many amazing people who are intensely interested in the same things I am—namely the history of England and Britain and the fiction set therein. We really are a rabid bunch.
Someone once suggested I write stories set in earlier America, and I thought—I can’t do that! It is the rigid class structure of England and its rules that make my stories. It fascinates me to no end.
I wanted to learn more about Britain while finding a way to market my book, and I had the idea to create a blog about British history. The English Historical Fiction Authors blog has the goal of a new British history post daily, and many people have said they visit with their morning coffee or tea.
I’d like to share some of the subjects with you here.
Have you ever wondered who all those kings and queens were? If you are not a learned historian, perhaps that is of interest to you as it was to me. I began a series of posts called “Monarchy” which discusses the succession of kings from after the Romans left through the tug of war between Steven and Matilda.
Some items of interest from those posts answer the questions:
What teenage king was killed, likely by his stepmother so her younger son could inherit the throne?
What heir to the throne, though brought to safety himself, died trying to save his sister in a shipwreck?
What happy royal married couple was unwillingly split up because a religious leader said they were too closely related, though less so than today’s Elizabeth I and Prince Philip?
The posts are arranged in chronological order.
Perhaps with last year’s discovery of the body of Richard III under a car park, you’d be interested in knowing more about the man himself and his rival for the throne, Henry VII. Which of them was the “good guy”? Did Richard kill his reigning nephew and his brother to get the throne? Henry would have us believe so. Judith Arnopp wrote a post discussing this question titled “Richard III vs. Henry VII: Naughty or Nice?”
Henry’s victory in war over Richard ended the Plantagenet dynasty and began the well-known Tudor era. Our Tudor authors have written many intriguing posts:
Why were orphaned heirs sold by the monarch to other nobles? Barbara Kyle brings out the reason. Sandra Byrd discusses how “the art of courtly love” played a part in the downfall of Katherine of Aragon and the crowning of Anne Boleyn. And what superstition played a role in choosing the length of cut of the umbilical cord by midwives of this period? Sam Thomas informs.
Katherine Pym explains why a “Pirate Extraordinaire” became a “Friend to the Crown” during the Stuart times. In her post she also tells what became of a pirate if he was captured.
Have you heard of Jack the Lad? Mike Rendell tells the story of a young man who made many daring escapes from jails—and was finally strung up for it all, still youthful. I was quite shocked at what he could accomplish. I suppose that since you could be hanged for a minor infringement at that time, you might as well become a legend for breaking free!
Anita Davison brings out what injustices during the Georgian era resulted in men dressing as women and burning and destroying tollgates while crying out “Rebecca!” You might be interested in her post, “The Rebecca Riots”.
How were clothes cleaned then? What was used before “Tide” could be bought? Maria Grace tells in “Ashes, Tallow and Turpentine: Coming Clean in the Regency Era”. And how was the table spread? Read “Nom nom nom: Regency Style” by M.M. Bennetts.
Have you read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens? Where did he get the idea for his great character Miss Havisham, a recluse benefactress to the young protagonist Pip? Could there have been such a strange person as she? Katherine Ashe will astound you with the tale “The Harlot Who was Dickens’ Muse, or Even Greater Expectations”.
If you are a rabid lover of British history, whether you purchase the book or not, you may want to read the current posts at the English Historical Fiction Authors blog. Each day’s tales are fascinating, and many unbelieveable—though true!
Thanks for giving me a few moments of your time.