Bill Bryson and the language of history

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There are certain pitfalls about writing historical fiction. In fact, there are a load of damn great elephant traps waiting for the unwary scribe who wants to dip his toe in the waters of the past. One of the biggest is the language you use when you are trying to write authentically about historical events […]

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Bill the Bastard and the fudge-pusher

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Hi guys, I realised this morning that I forgotten to give you a report on my day out at Hastings a couple of weeks ago. Most remiss of me. Sorry, and all that. I’ve been really busy finishing off Holy Warrior but that’s done now, so here goes . . . Cutting straight to the […]

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Wolf Hall and the triumph of history (in fiction)

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I really glad that Wolf Hall won the man Booker prize a couple of weeks ago – it means that for the first time Historical Fiction is getting the recognition it deserves. For a long time it has been what Patrick O’Brian called a “despised genre”. But now we historical novelists are on the rise; […]

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This is The End, my only friend, The End

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Apologies to the late great Jim Morrison and the (less great but happily not-late) Doors for the headline, but I’ve just typed “The End” on the last page of Holy Warrior, the next book in my series of novels about Robin Hood, and God-damn does that feel good! That doesn’t mean you good people out […]

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1066 and all that

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Next Saturday, October 10th, I’m off to Hasting for the annual re-enactment of the great battle of 1066. I’ve never been to one of these historical replay things before – I don’t know why, maybe because I always thought they would be cringe-making nerd-fests full of spotty accountants called Nigel saying things like: “The chaps […]

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