Writing

Why it is important to choose your dining companions with care

My sister shared an interesting little story with me about a well-travelled man who decided to drop in on a tribe of cannibals – not my first choice of people I’d like to have dinner with, let me tell you. Apparently, the first major hurdle in getting to Cannibal Land was to find someone to …

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Having drool-worthy hands does not keep you safe from false wives…

Today, I am dragging you all the way back to the tenth century, a time when Castile was ruled by a count, when more than half of the Iberian Peninsula was controlled by the Moors. This was the time of the great Muslim caliphate, of the splendour of Córdoba, Zaragoza and Sevilla under Muslim rule. …

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Siblings, sieges and assassinations – nothing unusual in medieval Spain

Today, we are going to be spending some time with Sancho II of Castile. Not that his time will be all that long—at times, life (or in this case, siblings) conspire against you. Mind you, Sancho had himself to blame. Sancho’s story starts in Zamora, a fortified town on the river Duero that has been …

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The Colour of Evil – deep-diving into medieval London with Toni Mount

  Today, I am proud to be hosting a stop on Ms Mount’s blogtour, featuring her recent release, The Colour of Evil. Thank you to Mary Anne Yarde of The Coffee Pot Book Club for inviting me to participate in this tour and thereby discover a new author. For those of you who’ve read Ms …

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A writer writing about writers – meet Mr Tearle!

I have, since some years back, a good friend called Richard Tearle. We have never met. We have never even really talked properly. We just sort of connect via social media, both of us sharing an interest and appreciation for historical fiction. Richard is a generous reader who expends a lot of time writing reviews …

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To glorious (and sometimes gruesome) LOVE

Today is St Valentine’s Day. In some parts of the world, this day is celebrated with hearts and red roses. In others, it passes by relatively unmarked. So who was this St Valentine? A man suffering from unrequited love who somehow made it onto the thin and narrow path that led to sainthood? Nope. St …

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The second wife – of Yolande of Hungary, Queen of Aragon

Sometimes, I wonder if medieval people were more in a hurry to live their lives, seeing as so many of them died at ages we would consider to be relatively young. Death, it would seem, sent its icy breath along their nape from the moment those medieval peeps were born. Obviously, Death is as present …

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Ring out the old, ring in the new – YES PLEASE!!!!

New Year’s Eve is a date imbued with hope. It is also host to a variety of traditions, all of them meant to ensure a happy future—or at least give us a glimpse of what is to come. Eating twelve grapes at midnight is one of those “let us hope things go well next year” …

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Much Medieval Mayhem – straddling the zone where myth and history meet

After so many weeks of lovely medieval posts we are now well into December, a month that in medieval times was usually a period of fasting. Three days a week, the so called “ember days”, good Christians would abstain from meat and certain other foods as well as wine, honeyed ale, gambling and sex. By …

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Escaping it all – of an addiction to romance and Happily Ever After

2020 has not been a good year. It has been a year of increased polarisation, of a sad downward spiral when it comes to common decency in prominent politicians. It has been a year of pandemic and fear. It has been a year when some governments have used the pandemic as an excuse to permanently …

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