Category Archives: History

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

From Independence to Exile: The Extraordinary Story of Sir Oliver Goonetilleke (Part 3)

Life in Exile Nine years of researching the background to my novel The Devil Dancers introduced me to some fascinating historical characters. One of the most remarkable was Sir Oliver Goonetilleke, one of the key architects of Ceylon’s Independence and … Continue reading

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From Independence to Exile: The Extraordinary Story of Sir Oliver Goonetilleke (Part 2)

From Dawn to Dusk Nine years of researching the background to my novel The Devil Dancers introduced me to some fascinating historical characters. One of the most remarkable was Sir Oliver Goonetilleke, one of the key architects of Ceylon’s Independence … Continue reading

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From Independence to Exile: The Extraordinary Story of Sir Oliver Goonetilleke (Part 1)

The Road to Independence Nine years of researching the background to my novel The Devil Dancers introduced me to some fascinating historical characters. One of the most remarkable was Sir Oliver Goonetilleke, one of the key architects of Ceylon’s Independence … Continue reading

Posted in Ceylon, Exiles, History, Independence, Sri Lanka, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Richard III’s mysterious son

The discovery of King Richard III’s remains in a Leicester car-park has had many repercussions. Most recently, DNA tests have revealed ‘false paternity’ on Richard’s male side. This is explained by an act of infidelity by one of Richard’s ancestors. … Continue reading

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Homeward Bound: The Answer to a Riddle

Yesterday I posted ‘Homeward Bound’, a riddle in short story form. Here, as promised, is the answer. The narrator of my story – and the answer to my riddle – is a very special book: the Textus Roffensis. Written in … Continue reading

Posted in Cathedrals, Fiction, History, Magical Realism, Myth, Riddles, Rochester, Short stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeward Bound

I am sleepy now. It’s quiet in here. They still treat me with reverence and speak in hushed voices; just as they did in my old home. But there, I had more visitors. Now, I may not see anyone for … Continue reading

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Trafalgar and the Passage of Time

In an age of instant communication, anyone researching the Battle of Trafalgar will immediately be struck by the extraordinary slowness with which the British fleet engaged its enemy, the long delay before these events were reported in British newspapers and … Continue reading

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