history


Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution

First of all, I am going to apologise for being so quiet over the past few months. As I’ve mentioned on here a few times, I suffer from severe depression and anxiety which have been exacerbated by the dismal winter weather and left me feeling really down in the dumps lately. I’ve always had a real problem with SAD anyway but it’s been particularly bad this year and has left me needing to spend my time doing very little indeed and not really up to very much at all. It’s not been all bad though – I finished my biography […]


The Lost Life of Eva Braun

A depressingly long time ago, as a fresh faced young undergraduate at the University of Nottingham, I signed up to a module devoted to art in Nazi Germany, which was taught by Dr Fintan Cullen. Fintan and I never really got along all that well (this is a massive understatement – we absolutely loathed each other) but he was, I have to admit, a really impressive and rather floridly verbose teacher who really came into his element when dealing with the robust imagery and political ramifications of Nazi era art. At the time, WWII had ended just fifty years earlier […]


The Scandalous Lady W

I remember thoroughly enjoying Hallie Rubenhold’s brilliant The Scandalous Lady W (originally published in the UK as Lady Worsley’s Whim) when I read it several years ago and so was absolutely thrilled when I heard that not only was it going to be dramatised for television but it would also be starring the excellent Natalie Dormer as the eponymous Seymour Fleming, Lady Worsley, who caused a furore in the eighteenth century when she eloped with one of her lovers, prompting her husband, who according to the mores of the day considered his wife to be his property, to sue the […]


Buckingham Palace, Summer 2015

My blog has provided me with several pinching myself to check that it is real moments over the years but perhaps none were quite so grand or amazing as Wednesday morning’s adventure when I was invited to a very special function in an otherwise empty of visitors Buckingham Palace where we were promised cake and a private tour of the state apartments in the company of the curators of this year’s special summer exhibition, which focuses on the splendid royal receptions held at the palace while the Queen is in residence. To our joy and amazement we were given unprecedented […]


Dover Castle

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my recent English Heritage giveaway! The winner has been notified and will hopefully have their membership cards in their clutches very soon! I absolutely love being a member of English Heritage as they really do have something for everyone – from Roman forts to cottages to castles to stately homes, including Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, which I’m hoping to visit over the summer. Last Monday (which was a bank holiday here in the UK) we were invited along to the brilliant WWII event at Dover Castle, which is another […]


Last Day in Edinburgh

I had such an amazing time during my recent research trip to Edinburgh. I’ve already shared posts about my first few days, which were spent researching my three upcoming Marie de Guise books at various royal palaces associated with her residence in Scotland and to cap it all off, here is a post about my last day in the Scottish capital, which I spent mooching around the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Scotland, both of which I wholeheartedly recommend to any fellow history buffs who find themselves in Edinburgh! I even managed to fit in a […]