Category Archives: History

The Raid on the Medway: an eyewitness account

While most of us are familiar with stories of the Plague (1665) and the Great Fire of London (1666), few are acquainted with the third catastrophe that hit England in 1667. On 9 June, the Dutch fleet led by the … Continue reading

Posted in Charles II, History, John Evelyn, Kent, Medway, Raid on the Medway, Thames, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leeds Castle: the tragic romance of a medieval duchess

Leeds Castle has been linked with a number of royal love-affairs, most notably that of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. But there is another tale – less well-known, but equally poignant. The marriage of Henry V’s brother, Duke Humphrey of … Continue reading

Posted in Castles, Eleanor of Cobham, Henry V, Henry VI, History, Kent, Leeds Castle, Plantagenets, Shakespeare, Wars of the Roses, Witches | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Self-Publishing: 7 ways to get the most from a conference

Having recently attended Matador’s conference on self-publishing, I thought it would be useful to jot down a list of essentials to help you to get the most from a conference whatever the topic. Prep your questions in advance. Why are … Continue reading

Posted in book festivals, Books, Ceylon, conferences, Copyright, Fiction, History, publishing, self-publishing, The Devil Dancers, writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Canterbury Tale: sudden death and a hint of poison

At the east end of Canterbury Cathedral is a mysterious tomb. Placed awkwardly between two pillars, it lies in one of the Cathedral’s most prestigious burial sites, the Trinity Chapel, formerly the location of Becket’s shrine. This unadorned tomb is … Continue reading

Posted in Canterbury, Cathedrals, Exiles, History, Huguenots, Odet de Coligny | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Devil’s Advocate? Witches vs The Law

What images are conjured up by the word ‘witch’? Hags silhouetted against the night-sky performing aerial acrobatics on broomsticks or brewing strange potions in a cauldron? Strange old ladies accompanied by black cats? Or children with black pointed hats and … Continue reading

Posted in Canterbury, Cathedrals, History, Law, Myth, Witches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Venice’s Palazzi: Jewels of the Grand Canal

Beyond the Bridge of Sighs! The Ponte della Paglia is often crowded At Carnival and in summer, Venice is submerged. But not by the green waters of the lagoon. St Mark’s Square, the Rialto and the main shopping streets are … Continue reading

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Murder, Martyrdom and the Quest for Bones

As the sun was setting late in December, four armed men strode through the Cathedral precincts determined to arrest one of the country’s most powerful men – or, at least, teach him a lesson. They had probably been drinking and … Continue reading

Posted in Canterbury, Cathedrals, History, King Henry II, Plantagenets, Rochester, St Thomas Becket, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment