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Posted on 20th Dec, 2017 by Martha Greengrass
Forget pudding, carol-singing and cosy nights by the fire, welcome to the twelve day feast of yuletide; a time of excess and hedonistic pursuits overseen not by jolly St Nick but by the devlish Lord of Misrule. As Makepeace, the heroine of the darkly atmopsheric mystery, A Skinful of Shadows, knows only too well, Christmas is a dangerous time for a country in the midst of Civil War and bitter religious division. Here, the novel's author Frances Hardinge introduces readers to the wild, hedonistic danger of a 17th Century English Christmas.
Posted on 20th Apr, 2017 by Angie Crawford
"This is not a story which has a surprise ending; the interest has to be in the route taken to that ending."
In Unspeakable, acclaimed author and poet Dilys Rose reimagines the life of Thomas Aikenhead, crafting a novel thick with the political intrigue and religious fervour of 17th century Edinburgh. Waterstones Angie Crawford caught up with the author to discuss breathing life into a notorious figure and the period's acute resonance for modern readers.
'It's all too rare to find a fun, glamorous, semi-literary tale to get lost in.’ So said The Guardian of Amor Towles’ first novel, Rules of Civility, an assured and evocative account of Manhattanite life in the Thirties. Going on to win the French 2012 Prix Fitzgerald, Towles now returns with his effortlessly urbane A Gentleman in Moscow, the tale of a somewhat singular man - Count Alexander Rostov – who finds himself under house arrest after sentence from a 1922 Bolshevik tribunal. What follows is decades of imprisonment through the most tumultuous decades of Russia’s history and the slow, fascinating rebirth of the Count’s sense of purpose. We caught up with the author to discuss the novel’s genesis and where its fiction met fact.
Unlike millions of their Polish compatriots, Georgia Hunter's Jewish ancestors managed to survive the gulags, ghettos and pogroms of 1940s Europe. Her debut novel, We Were The Lucky Ones, weaves the facts of their remarkable stories into a first-person, fictional narrative that, as Publishers Weekly notes, 'side-steps hollow sentimentality and nihilism, revealing instead the beautiful complexity and ambiguity of life in this extraordinarily moving novel.’ Here, Hunter explains in more detail the genesis of the book.
Posted on 21st Jun, 2017 by Sally Campbell
It has been immensely satisfying over the months to watch Francis Spufford’s first excursion into fiction Golden Hill hoover up the literary prizes. We saw its potential back in the autumn and crowned it our Fiction Book of the Month for October, and since this rollicking tale of a nascent Manhattan has gone on to nail both the Costa First Novel Award and the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the latter fittingly awarded to works that particularly evoke the spirit of a place. Now winner of the prestigious Desmond Elliott Prize 2017, Francis Spufford – both in words and his own video, shot on the city’s streets – takes us to the very heart of New York.
S. J. Parris is the author of Conspiracy, the latest instalment in the bestselling Giordano Bruno series of crime novels set in the sixteenth century. Here, she discusses female characters in historical fiction.
Posted on 8th Apr, 2016 by Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor is the number one bestselling author of The American Boy and The Silent Boy. Here he shares insights into creating his newest historical thriller, The Ashes of London, set during the Great Fire of London.
Posted on 4th Apr, 2016 by Lucy Ribchester
To mark the publication of her new novel set in Bletchley Park, The Amber Shadows, author Lucy Ribchester has written an article about beauty and the role of red lipstick during WW2.
Posted on 25th Feb, 2016 by Sally Campbell
Oksanen’s writing sizzles – as you read you will revel in beautiful turns of phrase and be pulled deep inside the devastating story, desperate to know what happens next.
Posted on 3rd Apr, 2015 by Richard Lee
As well as being one of our booksellers, Richard Lee is also the chairman of the Historical Novel Society. When the Walter Scott Prize shortlist was announced, there was only one person we could turn to.
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