history


WWII at Dover Castle

As long term readers of my blog probably already know, I’ve been on a bit of a massive quest over the last twelve months or so to properly educate myself about WWII, a period of history that I somehow never managed to learn about at school or university and about which I was woefully ignorant about until quite recently when I decided that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH and started reading about it. Anyway, you’ll be no doubt delighted to hear that I am not NEARLY so ignorant about the Second World War as I was at this time last year and, […]


Goodbye 2014

I can’t believe that 2014 is already almost over and we’re now hurtling towards 2015. I have had SUCH an amazing twelve months that I’ve started and abandoned this post several times over due to having FAR too much to say about it all – this was, after all, the year where I turned forty, confronted a whole bunch of silly little fears, got a book deal, ticked over six million page views on this blog and signed up with an agent so it was pretty action packed. However, for your sake, dear readers, I have therefore compiled a top […]


The Winter Crown – Elizabeth Chadwick

It is the winter of 1154 and Eleanor, Queen of England, is biding her time. While her husband King Henry II battles for land across the channel, Eleanor fulfils her duty as acting ruler and bearer of royal children. But she wants to be more than this – if only Henry would let her. Instead, Henry belittles and excludes her, falling for a young mistress and leaving Eleanor side-lined and angry. And as her sons become young men, frustrated at Henry’s hoarding of power, Eleanor is forced into a rebellion of devastating consequences. She knows how much Henry needs her, […]


Berlin – Part One

When it comes to history, there are few cities with such a chequered and fascinating past as Berlin. I’ve wanted to visit for a really long time but had been vaguely put off by friends’ accounts of a grim concrete wilderness and endless building sites as the newly prosperous and unified city pulled itself together. However, as time went on, I started hearing different reports about Berlin and how beautiful and interesting is and once again my interest was raised and I put it to the top of my Must Visit List. Imagine my joy therefore when my rather nice […]


Windsor Castle

When I posted the other day about my forthcoming fortieth birthday (eek!), many of you expressed astonishment that I had ‘visit Windsor Castle’ on my Things To Do Before I Turn Forty List. Which is fair enough – after all, I am a history blogger and have been resident in the UK for my entire life so far so how come I’ve never managed to visit? The thing is that I HAD actually been to Windsor Castle before. Well, sort of. I spent a lovely afternoon in the private bit of the estate, near Frogmore House, there a couple of […]


Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter – Émilie de Sainte-Amaranthe

Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe. Sadly, not much is known about Émilie, who was reputed to be one of the most beautiful women in Paris in the early 1790s. She was born Charlotte-Rose-Émilie Davasse de Saint-Amarand on the 18th July 1775 in Paris and although her mother was married to Monsieur de Saint-Amarand (Sainte-Amaranthe was a flouncy affectation) at the time, it is speculated that he was not in fact her father as the beautiful Madame de Sainte-Amaranthe was mistress to several prominent men at the time such as the Prince de Condé and the Vicomte de Pons, who was whispered by […]